Milton Keynes College Group has been given planning approval by MK Council for the new home for the South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT) at Bletchley.
Staff and students are already hard at work in existing buildings on the College’s Bletchley Campus, but the new structure will provide a purpose-built home for the exciting new digital centre.
The work will see extensive refurbishment and extension of the existing Andrew Peck building on the junction of Sherwood Drive and Selwyn Grove, close to the entrance to Bletchley rail station. Once complete it will provide providing high-quality learning environments, designed to be welcoming and inclusive for all those attending the new institution. The SCIoT has already set itself exacting targets for its student intake with numbers of women, people with disabilities or neurodiversity and those from ethnic minorities set to reflect the wider community of the city.
The new building will have its main entrance on the south side of the building for better access to the rest of the campus and nearby transport hubs. The existing building will be connected to the new extension via a glazed wall link. The external frontage will be high quality, befitting the IoT’s status as a landmark learning centre. Inside, there will be areas open to the public including a café and rooms for community use and events so as to be of benefit for everyone in Bletchley. The plans have been partly shaped by feedback from a virtual planning consultation, hosted in May by the College and Engineering Consultants, Tetra Tech.
Alex Warner is Principal of Milton Keynes College with responsibility for the SCIoT. “We’re really delighted that the plans have been approved and would like to thank council planners and Development Control Committee for their positive response to our vision. The SCIoT is already going at full steam ahead- we already have in excess of 500 learners- but the new building will give us even greater opportunity to educate and train people in those vital tech skills that are so desperately needed by business. We are now more confident than ever than we can realise our ambitions to inspire digital futures”
Work’s due to commence imminently with the Project Team and Contractor undertaking enabling works in readiness of this announcement. More than a thousand learners a year are expected to pass through its doors.
The development will be the South Central IoT’s flagship site, alongside centres in Oxford and Reading.