Work begins on £10 million sports hall at North Herts College
- Credit: NHC
Work has started on North Herts College's new £10 million sports and teaching facility in Hitchin, after planning permission was granted last year.
The plans will also bring 116 new homes to the rear of the campus - after a portion of the college's land was sold to national housebuilder CALA Homes.
The sports facility project is funded by the college, with a £3.7 million Local Growth Fund contribution from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The investment will enable the construction of the sports hall and gym, as well as a new 3G football pitch and modern sports science teaching facilities - with a planned opening in summer 2022.
The college says the facility will make a significant contribution to the local health agenda and provide enhanced opportunities for increasing access to higher level qualifications and positive progression for students.
Included within this development is investment in wider community facilities including two new grass pitches at The Priory School, more than £1.3m investment in primary and secondary schools and childcare services.
There will also be £25,000 investment in library and youth services and more than £600,000 earmarked for sustainable transport.
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This includes cycling provision, footpath and road junction improvements, a Hitchin Railway Station improvement scheme contribution and enhanced public transport information.
Fifteen per cent of the new homes will be affordable to meet local housing need, including those offered for shared equity and rent, and the development will include a children’s play area.
Kit Davies, principal of NHC, said: “We are delighted that work has now begun on the site to create these fantastic facilities for our students, and for our local community members.
“The new centre will provide our students with brilliant opportunities to train in state-of-the-art sporting facilities and study in new teaching spaces for generations to come.
“Since 1965 North Herts College has been, and will continue to be, heavily invested in the community it serves, and this development will provide much needed, modern and advanced facilities for our community to access sport and wellbeing activities locally.”
Chair of Hertfordshire LEP’s skills advisory panel Adrian Hawkins added: “We are pleased to support the provision of modern new sports and teaching facilities at North Herts College to benefit our young people and local residents.
“Our investment will help accelerate the development of STEM skills sought after by businesses offering employment in high-tech sectors.
"Furthermore, the facilities will play a vital role in encouraging healthy communities and breaking down barriers to sports participation.
“It is fantastic to see work commence on this project at a time when sporting interest has been piqued by the Olympics and our brilliant Team GB athletes.”