TAKE a look at the plans for the new home of the South Central Institute of Technology at Bletchley.
Staff and students are already hard at work in existing buildings on Milton Keynes College’s Bletchley Campus but the new structure would provide a purpose-built home for the exciting new digital centre.
The work will see extensive refurbishment and extension of the existing Andrew Peck building on the junction of Sherwood Drive and Selwyn Grove, close to the entrance to Bletchley rail station.
The main entrance will move to the south side of the building for better access to the rest of the campus and nearby transport hubs. The existing building will be connected to the new extension via a glazed wall link.
Dr Julie Mills, chief executive and principal of Milton Keynes College Group, said: “When considering the plans for the new centre we wanted to be sure it would feel inclusive, sustainable and welcoming. The SCIoT is going to be so vital for the future of the whole region in terms of supplying people trained in those vital tech skills that are so desperately needed by business.”
The plans have taken into account feedback from a virtual planning consultation, hosted by the college and Tetra Tech in May.
If planning approval is given by Milton Keynes Council, it is hoped work can begin before the end of the year and be completed by Spring 2023. More than 1,000 learners a year are expected to pass through its doors.
Dr Mills said: “I am really pleased that we have found a way to make some areas open to the public, including a café and rooms for community use and events. We want everyone to feel that this exciting new place is going to be good for everyone.”
The SCIoT has been designed by award-winning architects GSSArchitecture, which has an office in Milton Keynes and has significant experience with education buildings and other public spaces.
Partner Anna McTaggart said: “GSSArchitecture is delighted to be working with the college on this exciting project. The concept is to create a welcoming and inclusive technology building that is a distinctive landmark in Bletchley and enhances the existing college campus, attracting new learners and encouraging business and community involvement.”
Careful consideration has been given to the blend of spaces that will encourage collaboration and deliver a learning workplace which is aspirational and fun, reflecting a new approach to agile learning and current trends in ‘tech’ workplace design, she added.
“The building will be highly sustainable with a strong emphasis on supporting the health and wellbeing of all building users, delivering a truly unique facility that leads the way for educational schemes.”
The development will be the South Central IoT’s flagship site, alongside centres in Oxford and Reading.
To view the plans and to have your say, visit View and Comment on Planning Applications – Milton Keynes Council (milton-keynes.gov.uk) using reference 21/0231/FUL