The Board of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College has given approval to go to the next stage with exciting plans to operate a Digital Skills and Innovation Centre as part of proposals to create a new campus within the Abbey Street regeneration initiative.
The £8 million funding package has been secured from the Government’s Towns Fund by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.
The final proposals from Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and its strategic development partner Queensberry are expected to be discussed by the authority’s planning committee in late summer.
The College’s award-winning fine dining restaurant will be transferred from its present site in Hinckley Road to Abbey Street where, along with a bistro, members of the public will be able to enjoy meals and snacks throughout the day while students put their catering and hospitality skills into practice.
The 1,437 sqm, three-storey campus building will also focus on providing access to digital skills training and support for the hospitality sector as well as having facilities for entrepreneurs and those wanting to set-up their own businesses.
There will also be a shared workspace and exhibition space to showcase training opportunities and meeting and further exhibition space for the local community.
Tom Hamilton-Dick, Deputy Principal, Curriculum & Innovation at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, said this was an amazing opportunity to provide its catering and hospitality students with a state-of-the-art learning experience as well as improve digital skills for students and people in the town.
The Digital Skills and Innovation Centre, which is expected to open in 2024, is part of the wider Abbey Street regeneration scheme which includes a Hampton by Hilton hotel and new buildings for a regional cinema, a leisure operator, an artisan food hall and a new multi-storey car-park.
Cllr Kris Wilson, leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said:
“The Digital Skills Centre promises to bring hundreds of young people into the town on a regular basis, and will add to the range of activities on offer here. I can’t wait!”
Sean Farnell, Chair of the Nuneaton Town Deal Board and board director at Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), added:
“This new town centre campus for North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College will provide a fantastic opportunity to improve the practical and digital skills of students and the wider community. This is an important aspect of CWLEP’s Strategic Reset Framework to support the development of upskilling and reskilling to benefit employees and employers.”