Time is running out for £10 million college - show your support

Daventry UTC with village green application shown'From Daventry District Council
Daventry UTC with village green application shown'From Daventry District Council

A NEW group has been launched to campaign for and promote the university technical college (UTC) bid for Daventry.

The bid is potentially days away from collapsing due to the Friends of Daventry Open Spaces (FODOS) village green application for the site.

Next week detailed discussions are due to start with the two preferred contractors to build the college.

Those discussions could stop at any moment due to the uncertainty thrown into the mix by the village green application.

The private companies involved are likely to halt discussions if the financial cost to them outweighs the likelihood of them getting the contract for the site.

Council chiefs have told the Daventry Express the timetable is so tight to build and open the UTC, if the project falters much in the next few weeks it will be put behind schedule.

Then the Government – which wants its flagship colleges open in 18 months – may simply decide not to sign the £10 million cheque next month and move the money elsewhere.

This week the Friends of Daventry UTC were formed to try and campaign for the college on the Ashby Road site.

Bob Walduck, one of the group’s founders, said: “The UTC is a wonderful opportunity for us, supported by big business in the town and region, to do something to really improve the education and jobs prospects for our young people in Daventry.

“There was only 13 of these announced nationally, and here we are in Daventry on the verge of losing it by default, and I think that’s appalling.

“The UTC land is about 1.5 per cent of the green public space in Daventry town.

“I can’t believe people think that retaining this 1.5 per cent of land is so important that we should not have the UTC in Daventry.

“We’ve only just formed, but already there’s about 10 people from Daventry who have joined already.

“We’re completely open, and anyone who joins signs a register which people can view.”

Cllr Colin Poole said: “Some people have concerns about Eastern Way, but we shouldn’t let that stop the UTC going ahead on land off Ashby Road that is not connected to those proposals.

“We can’t rely on the Government giving us a bit of slack with the timetable because they want one in the area.

“There’s one planned for Silverstone too, so it’s not like there’s no other UTC for 50 miles and the Government needs one here to fill a gap.”

People who support the plan can email the Friends of Daventry UTC on walducks@ hotmail.com.

People can also find out more about the college and make comments at www.daventryutc.com.

And email us at editorial@ daventryexpress.co.uk.