Council moves uni campus plan forward – with change of use green light

Bassetlaw Council have applied for planning permission to transform the Bridge Court building - site of the former job centre - into a £3.5 million university campus.

Saturday, 28th November 2020, 12:30 pm

Planning officers approved an application from the council’s enterprise team to change the building’s use - from retail, food and drink to non-residential institution - last month.

Officers say work on the building must begin no later than three years from the date permission was granted.

Other conditions under which the development was agreed include a commitment that the premises should be used only for higher education with a cafe.

Jack Bowker, Bassetlaw Council vice chairman, Leader Simon Greaves, and Bassetlaw MP Brendan Brendan Clarke-Smith are pictured here outside Bridge Court

No more than six classes in attendance would be allowed at any one time - with a maximum of 20 students per classroom to keep off-street parking under control near the site.

The ‘state-of-the-art’ Bridgecourt Campus will work hand-in-hand with Bassetlaw Hospital providing health sector training.

However courses will also be available in digital and IT, green technologies and engineering.

Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said the desperately-needed investment would provide a ‘brighter future for the people of Bassetlaw’.

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It is understood Bassetlaw Hospital will work with RNN college group, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Derby to provide training at the site.

A spokesman for Bassetlaw District Council said the higher education centre would provide ‘an innovative skilled labour force to the market’ in Bassetlaw.

Councillor Jo White, member for regeneration at Bassetlaw District Council, said the announcement was ‘the result of 18 months hard work’.

She said: “The project came is a result of conversations with the hospital about recruiting more nurses and local access to health care courses.

"Ownership of Bridge Court allows us to provide a new location for health courses, help tackle the skills gap and support Worksop town centre by bringing a key building back into use and increasing footfall.”

Richard Parker OBE, Chief Executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said the campus would enable the trust to upskill and offer further academic opportunities to its current workforce.

He added: “It will support local people to kickstart their career in the NHS offering fantastic work placements to complement their academic studies.”

It is hoped the facility will be open for the academic year in September 2021.

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