New college proposed for east Manchester

The Manchester College and Bridge College have lodged a detailed planning application for a development in Openshaw.

Subject to planning consent from Manchester City Council, the new facility on the former Rolls-Royce site on Pottery Lane will open to further education students with learning difficulties from September 2012. The architects on the project are Walker Simpson, based in Piccadilly.

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

New East Manchester delivered the acquisition and remediation of the site through a £3.6m grant from the North West Development Agency awarded in May 2009.

The proposed development will provide specialist teaching and learning for disabled young people and adults. The campus will offer speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, and hydro and occupational treatments. The planned site will eventually feature a learning hub for the development of social skills and independence, along with a multi-use hall with support facilities, and sports pitches for joint use by both colleges, the community and commercial organisations. Additionally, an area of the site will be dedicated to promoting horticulture in an urban setting, and will offer training opportunities to students and community groups.

Approval of the detailed plans is expected in April 2011, with building works scheduled to begin in June 2011.

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The contrast between the thundering cauldron of industry in its previous incarnation as Crossley’s and a beautifully landscaped campus for therapy and learning couldn’t be more poignant.

By A_Noun