College building grant bid rejected


- Credit: Archant

Exmouth Community College has missed out on a government funding grant which would have given it a new £3million building.

The college was one of more than 1,000 schools to apply for funding from the Department of Education, but was not one of the 77 chosen for a grant.

If it had been successful, a new building on the Green Close site would have housed a new library and theatre, and allowed a total of 12 new classrooms to be created.

Principal Tony Alexander, who previously said a successful bid would revolutionise the school, said: “Unfortunately, we weren’t one of the chosen 77. Although our bid was applauded for its quality, we just didn’t qualify. We don’t really understand why.”

Mr Alexander says that, with no indication there will be any more government money available in the near future, the college will now look at other ways to secure new facilities and meet demand for places, which is set to increase in years to come.

“We know we have got to prepare for a large increase in the student population, starting in four years’ time.

“There is a lot of building going on in the primary schools at the moment and, by my estimation, another 360 to 380 children will be in the catchment area, and secondary school places will have to be provided.

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“So we are looking into tackling that at the moment - myself, my senior staff and the governors.

“We are aware there’s an issue and are planning for it, and we hope to work closely with the local authority to achieve that.”

Despite the college’s funding bid being rejected, Mr Alexander says there will still be some work done this summer.

“We are refurbishing and redecorating during the summer, and have already started refurbishing some classrooms, and this is coming from our own budget because our aim is to continue to provide a high quality environment for all our students.”

Mr Alexander also says the college is looking to take advantage of a new vocational curriculum for its post-16 students, using a variety of facilities, and has not ruled out using space at the Rolle College site if it becomes available.

“If anyone can develop Rolle College we’d be very interested in working with them, to ensure such magnificent facilities aren’t wasted.

“We are very alive to any opportunities that there may be, and are keen to support our local community in any way to extend facilities and opportunities for young people in Exmouth.”