DUDLEY College has announced exciting multimillion pound plans to build a new “learning quarter” at the heart of the town centre.

The £30 million proposals, which have been revealed by college bosses, could see a new Sixth Form Centre and Higher Education Centre built on the Priory Road car park, which was once the for mer girls’ school site.

The self-funded plans also include a Vocational Centre which is set to be built in Tower Street, on the site of the former fire station.

It is thought the Priory Road development will be opened in 2012, while the Tower Street centre is set to open the following year.

Bosses at the college have been working hard developing plans alongside The University of Wolverhampton and Dudley Council’s arms-length regeneration company – New Heritage Regeneration – over the last few months in its bid to regenerate the town centre.

College principal Lowell Williams said they hoped the new development would raise aspirations and ambitions for young people and adults in the borough.

The college’s main site at The Broadway is set to remain, with the three new centres all operating in conjunction.

It is also proposed to transform the main site during the second phase of the development, when a Construction and Engineering Technologies Centre will replace existing rear buildings on the campus in 2015.

The plans will also mean 1,500 students and 250 staff, who are currently situated at the college’s Castle View and Mons Hill sites, will be relocated to the town centre.

The news has been welcomed by Dudley North MP Ian Austin, who has been campaigning to get a university in the town.

He said: “I think these are really exciting plans which deliver on my pledge to campaign to bring higher education and university facilities back to the town and they will make a major contribution to the regeneration of the town centre as well.”

He added: “These new buildings will ensure that Dudley protects its status as the educational capital of the Black Country.”

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