The final countdown is on to the opening of Mansfield’s new £6.5 million university centre.
The flagship Vision University Centre at West Nottinghamshire College opens its doors at the end of September.
It is part of an ambitious plan to boost access to higher education and advanced-level skills among local communities.
Dame Asha Khemka, college principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College, said: “A university centre of this magnitude will be a first for Mansfield and Ashfield, which is great news for residents and businesses.”
It is hoped the state-of-the- art facility, now nearing completion at the college’s Derby Road campus, will transform the skills landscape in Mansfield and Ashfield and boost business.
Part-funded by a £2.6m grant from the D2N2 local enterprise partnership, the new centre will allow the college to grow its HE provision and work even more closely with employers.
The final building work and internal fitting out is due to be completed by the end of this month, ready for use by teaching staff.
Students are due to move into the new facilities in early October.
Landscaping and finishing touches to the building’s exterior are due for completion soon afterwards.
Dame Asha said: “The opportunities it will provide – both now and for future generations – cannot be overstated.
“Vision University Centre will make higher education, professional courses and degree apprenticeships even more accessible – not to mention aspirational – to local people.
“This is key to boosting prosperity and powering economic growth.
“Not only will it attract those who have never considered higher-level study before, it will also encourage more undergraduates and postgraduates to remain in the area, helping to supply the homegrown, highly-trained talent pool which employers rely on.
“For years, business leaders and countless individuals have voiced their desire for a dedicated university campus to serve our communities.
“I am delighted that West Nottinghamshire College is in a position to make that happen.”