Reaction to £6.5m invested in new Daventry college

The Government is to invest £6.5 million in a new college building in Daventry town centre, it has been announced.

The Daventry Express has been told the new building will stand on land off Ashby Road between the new Daventry UTC and the Eastern Way playing field.

The building will replace Northamptonshire College’s current Daventry Centre in Badby Road West, which was originally built as a secondary school and could now be earmarked for potential housing development. Construction of the new college will start in May 2015 ahead of a September 2016 opening. It will provide places for 700 students, including 200 apprenticeships, and will focus on developing the skills identified as central to the local economy.

Pat Brennan-Barrett, principal said: “I am delighted that our bid for this new facility has been approved and look forward to working with our partners on the delivery of a high quality centre designed specifically to benefit the people of Daventry.

“We have been delighted with the support from our partners in SEMLEP, and in the county and district councils, in helping us to bring our vision for Daventry to life. As a college our ambition is to be the first choice for training and education in Daventry and our plans demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the town and the local community.”

Cllr Chris Millar, leader of Daventry District Council, said: “The new college will go on the slope below the new UTC and the edge of the planned WaterSpace development, as part of the Learning Quarter we have in our masterplan for the town.

“It’s good news as it brings hundreds of students closer in to the town centre. The building and the students will help support the regeneration of the town centre. It’s an endorsement of our long-term plans for the development of he town.”

The money was given by central government to the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) for it to fund the college project.

MP Chris Heaton-Harris said: “It’s a very good result for the town. I hope that when this new college opens, it finishes off the work of the past few years to improve the educational choices and quality in the town.

“Together they will provide our kids with the skills and qualifications they need for the future and to take advantage of the jobs in the local area too.”