New starter homes included in next stage of Harrogate College development plan

Debra Forsythe-Conroy, Principal of Harrogate College and MP Andrew Jones (s)

Debra Forsythe-Conroy, Principal of Harrogate College and MP Andrew Jones (s)

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Harrogate College has announced plans to bring forward the second phase of its investment programme which includes selling land for housing.

The development includes a 3G multi-use pitch for student and community use, an expanded curriculum, and new IT infrastructure to improve the learning experience of current students and allow the college to offer state-of-the art distance learning courses.

The announcement comes after work started on a multi-million pound refurbishment and technology centre project at the Harrogate College campus.

College Principal, Debra Forsythe-Conroy, said: “At Harrogate College we are committed to building on our foundations of excellence by ensuring that we continue to equip our students with in-demand skills and offer an outstanding, attractive learning environment.”

She explained that changes in public funding for the Further Education sector had resulted in the college launching plans for a residential development on its surplus land next to Hookstone Road to fund the second phase.

“The first phase of our ambitious investment programme is already underway and in the current climate of public funding changes we need to unlock the value of our unused assets to deliver the improvements we are aiming for.

“Our proposals for new homes will be brought forward to meet local housing needs. The town loses too many of the young, professional and technical people we produce at the college in part due to a lack of affordable housing, so we are keen to include starter homes in the scheme.

“Providing more starter homes in sustainable and attractive locations will mean that we can begin to reverse this brain drain to other towns and cities in the region, benefiting Harrogate’s economy for the long term.

“It is also extremely important that we remain a good neighbour, and our public consultation will be undertaken to enable us to listen and positively respond to the feedback received.”

The proposals include 50 retirement apartments, 54 new homes, including ones for first-time buyers on land next to Hookstone Road. A consultation website is at: www.harrogatecollegefuture.co.uk