KENDAL College has won a grant of more than £3million for a state-of-the-art new development at its town centre arts and media campus.
The ambitious plans for the Wildman Street site include new art galleries, studios for dance, digital sound recording and fine art.
There will also be facilities for digital imaging – giving the college some of the best equipment in the country.
The funding will also be used to create landscaped gardens behind the 14th Century Grade 1 listed Castle Dairy restaurant, which is run as a restaurant and art gallery by college apprentices.
The college secured the funding at an ‘enhanced rate’, meaning it will receive 90 per cent of the total cost of £3,340,069 – an incredibly rare achievement according to Principal Graham Wilkinson.
“This was a really challenging bid that took our team three weeks to complete and, to qualify for such a high proportion of funding we had to make a compelling case,” said Mr Wilkinson.
“This really is a dream come true for the college and means that we can complete our modernisation programme, so all of our students can enjoy modern buildings with state-of-the-art facilities.
“The buildings that we have on the arts and media campus at the moment are not fit for purpose – they are single-storey and low quality, and the best thing we can do is knock them down and do a complete re-build.
“The new studios and exhibition spaces will also be designed to blend in beautifully with the campus’s performance space – The Box – and the Castle Dairy Restaurant.
“The project will truly transform Wildman Street and will attract employers to use the college’s facilities.”
In addition to the new development, £1million is to be spent on refurbishment at the college’s Allen building on Sandes Avenue, due to start in two weeks’ time.
Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: "I am delighted Kendal College's importance to our community has been recognised by the Government. This money will make a significant contribution in equipping our young people with the skills they need to benefit the local area in their future careers".