THE council has agreed to move forward in principle to a dual use partnership with the College and further negotiations will now take place to bring the plan to fruition. The Council also agreed to deliver a feasibility study to determine the best option for redeveloping QPSC.
£2.5 million from the proceeds of the sale of the College’s Clowne campus is earmarked for investment in a site within the Borough to provide new facilities for approximately 2,000 of the College’s students, 800 coming from its Sport and Public Services course. If the partnership goes ahead the money will be used as a contribution towards capital investment into QPSC. The College will also contribute towards the running costs at the Centre.
Chesterfield Borough Council will match fund the investment which would allow the Council to invest £5m into high specification improvements at the Centre. Both parties will also look to attract further external funding to maximise the redevelopment.
Councillor Nick Stringer, Executive Member for Leisure at Chesterfield Borough Council said: “We’re very excited by these partnership plans with the College as it would secure large scale investment that will improve the facilities for residents. There has to be some major refurbishment at QPSC if we are to remain competitive and to offer our residents a first class facility.
“Working with the College would see the Centre being much more widely used during off-peak times and would give us the potential for more apprenticeship schemes and placement opportunities which all helps to reduce the high levels of youth unemployment.
“We will of course work with existing users and members of the Centre to make sure any new facilities meet their needs.”
Trevor Clay, Acting Principal at Chesterfield College said: “This is an exciting partnership which enables us to provide top class facilities to our students. This will not only benefit their learning experience but also expand the employment and progression routes we can offer them such as apprenticeships. We aim to give all of our students employment skills and where better to do that than at a fully functioning centre such as this in the heart of the local community.”
The Council aims to have minimal disruption at the Centre during any refurbishments and, where possible, will provide alternative arrangements for any affected services.