Work has started on South Essex College's new state of the art Digital Technology Campus in Basildon Town Centre which is due to open next year.

Photo showing the new college campus ground breaking ceremonyThanks to a partnership between Basildon Council, Homes England and South Essex College, contractor Morgan Sindall is now on site to deliver the new three-storey building which will focus on digital technology provision in the heart of the town centre.

Homes England has facilitated the relocation of the current South Essex College Basildon campus, which will lead to the creation of 725 much needed high-quality family homes on both the existing campus and immediately adjacent 33 hectares of Homes England land.

The new Digital Technology Campus will enable the College to better meet the skill needs of employers both locally and regionally, providing courses to students that will meet local employment and industry demands.

A breaking ground ceremony was held on 21 June to mark the start of the works, which, alongside the new College building, will include car parking, public open space, shops and landscaping.

The works are scheduled to be completed by July 2020 with the building opening for the new academic term in the September and will offer courses in areas such as games design, digital animation and TV production.

Angela O'Donoghue, Principal of South Essex College said: "We are delighted that work is underway to deliver our ambitious vision of bringing high quality education and training provision back into the heart of Basildon Town Centre.

"This new campus will equip young people and adults with the skills they need to work in the growing digital technology industry which has been identified as a growth area for industry in the Thames Gateway region."

Leader of Basildon Council, Cllr Gavin Callaghan said: "This is a massively important contribution to the skills and training offer for our young people. We need all of our young people able to take up opportunities to equip themselves with the skills that local employers are looking for now and into the future. The College is also a welcome boost to the town centre, bringing a new dimension to life in the town. We want as many partners like South Essex College as possible - organisations that are willing to invest and help build a modern, ambitious town that can thrive into the future. I am especially delighted to welcome this development in Basildon new town's 70th anniversary."

Steve Greener, Head of Acquisitions, at Homes England, said: "Our role is to intervene in the market and drive forward the delivery of public sector land by working with other government departments. We have worked collaboratively with partners to meet the needs of local residents and businesses. This project is an excellent example of how Homes England is using its resources and expertise to bring sites to market."

The project as also attracted £2 million of Local Growth Fund support via the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

Ends - published on Friday 21 June 2019