BCA looks to build new blocks for expected influx of students

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) is looking for planning permission to add two more temporary teaching blocks to cope with the rise in student numbers.

The college is seeking to renew temporary planning permission for two blocks already standing and to install two new ones.

BCA was granted temporary permission for two classroom blocks in October 2019. This permission is due to expire in October 2022. It is hoped the four blocks with eight classrooms will cater for a short-term increase in students over three to five years.

BCA says there is ‘an urgent requirement’ for additional teaching space to meet the needs of students from September 2021.

The college’s interim principal, Anne Entwistle, said: “Our student numbers have grown significantly over the past two years and, without this additional teaching space, we would be unable to accommodate them.

“Student growth is due to a number of factors, including the impact of COVID. Increased uncertainty within the jobs market and also missed learning over the past 18 months (has led to) many more students opting to continue their studies.

“The college was able to manage successfully during the last academic year because we were teaching a third of our learners remotely.”

The college has recently obtained capital funding to convert some existing residential accommodation to teaching space.

It has applied to the Department for Education to complete more refurbishment work and aims to remove the requirement for temporary classrooms in the longer term.

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