Creative arts students in Norwich will be learning in a £5.7m state-of-the-art building from September 2013.

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City College Norwich has today revealed plans for the purpose-built centre for its Ipswich Road campus.

The three-floor building would be decked out with industry-standard equipment in order to prepare students for a career in the region’s important creative and cultural sector.

City College principal Dick Palmer said: “The college is committed to providing 21st-century learning environments for all of our students and this exciting new building will enable us to provide all of our creative arts students with the facilities they need in one place.”

The new centre will be built on the site of the college’s former West Lodge accommodation block which was demolished last summer.

It will include a television studio, recording studios and media editing suites. There will be rehearsal spaces for dance, acting and musical theatre.

And the college’s traditional art and design, fashion and textiles, and cultural heritage and craft-based programmes will also move there.

Jo Pretty, head of the school of creative and business industries, said: “This new building will provide an inspirational space for the development of creative talent in a much broader way, building on our strengths in developing students’ skills whilst promoting greater interdisciplinary collaboration across course disciplines.

“This will help students develop the flexible skills and good working practices demanded by the creative industries which make an important contribution to the UK and local economy.”

It is hoped the project will add to City College’s reputation in the creative arts, having been a founder of the National Skills Academy Creative and Cultural.

Mr Palmer said: “This new facility will further enhance the reputation of Norwich as a centre of excellence for creative and cultural skills training, including the college’s status as the East of England hub of the National Skills Academy in Creative and Cultural Skills.”

The new facilities are likely to allow the college to widen its offering in terms of digital technologies for the creative and cultural industries and could support the creation of digital apprentices.

The building will also benefit the wider community with a number of the college’s evening courses such as jewellery making and pattern cutting also due to make the most of the new setting.

The college has already received outline planning permission for the project and hopes to gain full permission in time to begin building work this August.

The £5.7m, low-carbon centre has been funded in part by a grant from the Skills Funding Agency which will cover a third of the costs.

The remainder of the money will come from a loan and college reserves.

It will have a number of green features including ground source heating, brown water recycling and solar panels.

City College’s existing 250-seat theatre in the Norfolk building will remain as the venue for its public performances and will soon be re-launched under the name Platform.

Do you have an education story? Contact education correspondent Victoria Leggett on 01603 772468 or email victoria.leggett@archant.co.uk.

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