The College has been awarded £9,736,000 by the Skills Funding Agency to upgrade its Grade II-listed Yarrow Building, where a state-of-the-art hotel and hospitality training centre will be built, providing an ideal learning environment for skills relating to event management, hospitality, travel and tourism.
An innovation space for creative industries start-ups, incorporating a business administration academy, will also be developed.
“Our proposals are designed to meet the current and future skills needs of East Kent,” explained Graham Razey, principal of East Kent College. “The catering and hospitality, business services and creative industries sectors are all priorities of growth within the local economy so we are hopeful that Thanet District Council and Kent County Council will support our plans. Initial discussions with the local authority have been very positive.”
The project totals £10,700,000 with East Kent College financing the costs not being met by the Skills Funding Agency’s College Capital Investment Fund. As well as the upgrade of the Yarrow Building, which had been designated for disposal due to the level of work required, the funding will also support the redevelopment of several other areas on the Broadstairs campus.
Architects have begun working on plans with the aim of having the new facilities in place by September 2015.
East Kent College will now be applying for planning permission to Thanet District Council.