East Manchester college approved

Manchester College and Bridge College have had a joint planning application for a new centre for students with learning difficulties and disabilities approved.

The new campus, designed by Walker Simpson, is due to open to students from both colleges in September 2012 on the former Rolls-Royce site on Pottery Lane in East Manchester.

The site was acquired by New East Manchester for regeneration use with a £3.6m grant from the North West Development Agency in May 2009. Building work on the site is scheduled to begin in July.

The new college will include specialist facilities for learning support around speech and language, physio, hydro and occupational therapies.

Bridge College is a further education college for young people aged 16-25 with complex needs, disabilities, learning difficulties and autism. Bridge College is currently located in Stockport and operated by North West charity, the Together Trust.

"The planning approval is great news for the project and means we're one step closer to bringing first class educational facilities to East Manchester and the surrounding areas," said David Marriott, chief executive of the Together Trust.

"By sharing knowledge and expertise, The Manchester College and Bridge College have created a project that will give regional and local residents with complex needs access to some of the best, most innovative services in the UK."

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