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We’re delighted to announce a major extension to our College’s facilities has been given Government support.
Our successful bid to the Department for Education’s ‘Post-16 Capacity Fund’ will enable us to proceed with a planning application to complete a Phase 2 development, creating an ‘Engineering Hub’ to right of our current building.
The Hub will include cutting edge equipment, workshops, classrooms, and computer lab spaces for the teaching of specialist, technical qualifications in Business, Engineering, Computing and other Digital Technologies.
Chief Executive Officer of EKC Group, Graham Razey, welcomed the news, saying: “There’s a real and pressing need for additional high quality technical and vocational education places within the community served by our Ashford College.
“This fund is enabling providers like ourselves to futureproof provision, and grow it in line with local need. It will ensure that the many thousands of young people we and others can train due to this fund, are able to ‘Level Up’ with new opportunities available to develop outstanding skills that meet local employers’ needs.
“Our College Group has a mission to play a leading part in enhancing the social and economic prosperity within the communities we serve, and this fund will enable us to do this for even more people.”
Altogether, the upgrade will allow us to welcome an additional 250 students to study with us, with a particular emphasis on promoting access to Engineering for females and underrepresented groups.
Council leader Gerry Clarkson noted: “This is excellent news for the college, current and future students, and the wider borough as it will enable the next phase of the development of Ashford College to come forward, which is one of the Council’s priorities in our Corporate Plan.
“This announcement means the delivery of the multi-million extension on the Elwick Road site to support Engineering, Business and IT curriculum provision and expands the capacity of the college to meet the increased demand for educational provision in Ashford.”
Ashford MP Damian Green also added his congratulations, saying: “It’s absolutely fantastic to see this investment in building the capacity of Ashford College.
“The capacity fund was created to ensure providers that are primed to grow get the opportunity to do so.
“This funding will ensure the college is future proofed and able to deliver a first-class education for students who attend it as Ashford continues to grow and flourish in the future.”
Graham Razey was very grateful for the overwhelming local support the College has received from people and groups across the borough.
He said: “This project wouldn’t have been possible without the wonderful support we’ve had from all of the key stakeholders across the Ashford Borough, from the council to the local MP Damian Green, to the wonderful employers here.
“This work is absolutely a result of their fantastic partnership work with us, and we’re delighted this has come to fruition – we’re very much looking forward to seeing this vision become a reality.”