Ask submits college plans at St Petersfield

Michael Hunt

Plans have been submitted to Tameside Council for a new Tameside College facility at Ask Developments' £42m St Petersfield scheme in Ashton-under-Lyne.

The new facility will provide the college with an enterprise and training resource offering business courses aimed at budding entrepreneurs from the local area, which will be known as the 'knowledge mill'.

Start-up companies would then have the chance to expand and take space within the proposed business centre on block K of the St Petersfield masterplan, similar to a system already in place at One Central Park set within Ask:Goodman's Central Park business park in east Manchester.

When complete, the 9,245 sq ft Knowledge Mill would complete the circus area of the masterplan. Designed by Aedas Architects, the building will cover three floors and will provide teaching spaces, staff offices and a small cafe with an outdoor seating area. The café will be open to local businesses and the general public as well as college staff and students.

John Hughes, director at Ask Developments, said: "Tameside College's Knowledge Mill would be a valuable addition to St Petersfield. As well as providing budding entrepreneurs with the skill set needed to move their business forward, it will also ensure that new and existing companies are retained within Tameside rather relocating elsewhere."

The St Petersfield development will provide 280,000 sq ft of office space with retail and leisure amenity facilities totalling 400,000 sq ft.

Once complete, it is hoped to sustain almost 2,000 jobs.

The scheme is being delivered through a public/private sector partnership, with £14.5m of North West Development Agency, Homes & Communities Agency and European Regional Development Fund money already committed to the 13-acre site.

Ask Developments' plans to create two blocks of new business suites along with the 'knowledge mill' at the St Petersfield scheme were initially approved by Tameside Council in February last year.

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