Building works will begin this week on Aylesbury’s new education centre.
The four-storey building will be built on Walton Street at the head of the canal basin, next to the Waterside Theatre, and will be called the Aylesbury Centre.
Aylesbury College and Bucks New University through their partnership, Buckinghamshire Education Skills and Training (BEST), will lease the building, which is expected to open by autumn 2015.
The centre will expand the degree provision available in Aylesbury. There will also be professional and commercial courses available.
Representatives from Aylesbury Vale District Council, Aylesbury College and Buckinghamshire New University will hold a sod-cutting ceremony to celebrate the start of work on the £16.5 million building on Thursday.
Councillor Neil Blake, leader of the council, said: “The start of work on this project is terrific news for people in the Aylesbury Vale area. “The centre is a great example of how Aylesbury is changing to offer a much wider range of facilities and services.
“The vision for the town, which we unveiled last year as part of the new town centre improvement plan, spells out the need for the town to offer much more than retail and the Aylesbury Centre is another important part of the jigsaw puzzle.
“With AVDC’s investment, the centre will bring new jobs to the district and create opportunities for local people to increase their qualifications and skills. Having a more skilled local workforce will make coming to Aylesbury Vale a more attractive proposition for businesses.”
Vice Chancellor of Bucks New University, Professor Ruth Farwell, said: “The start of the work on the Aylesbury Centre represents a significant milestone for Bucks New University. It is the tangible way of both celebrating our partnership with Aylesbury College through BEST and marking the start of our journey to establishing Aylesbury as a university town. We look forward to providing higher and professional education for the people and employers of Aylesbury and surrounding areas.”
Karen Mitchell, Principal of Aylesbury College, added: “This is an exciting time for Aylesbury. I am delighted that the College is working in partnership with Bucks New University through BEST to provide high quality, affordable, and accessible local higher and professional education in the heart of our community.”