Plans for a £9m project to build a construction teaching centre at Oldham College have been approved by the council, with work to start this week.
The two-storey building will provide 25,000 sq ft of learning space, with a mixture of workshops, classrooms and offices, on a 126,000 sq ft site.
The project will involve the demolition of two existing teaching blocks and the Bellmouth to Middleton Road is to be widened as part of the development.
Willmott Dixon is the lead contractor and AHR is the architect.
The centre is intended to provide space for students to learn the technical trades relevant to the construction industry, and further professional skills through to degree level.
Of the total investment, £6.95 million is being provided by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in the form of a grant, with Oldham College providing the remaining funding.
Alun Francis, Oldham College principal and chief executive, said: “The decision means preparatory works can start on site this week. [The project] is part of our wider regeneration programme, which will also see the demolition of the outdated Bronte and Bevan buildings.”
Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “The college will create a pathway to delivering the right skills and experience to the next generation of construction professionals, which the industry and our region needs.
Mo Isap, the Greater Manchester LEP board member leading on education and future skills, said: “This is a further investment into addressing the skills gap that exists within one of our key industries.
“Nationally, the construction sector needs to create 36,000 new jobs a year to keep up with current demand, further to which digital construction processes are creating high-skilled jobs which Oldham College will now be best placed to meet.