East Kent College is to establish a new centre at Discovery Park, near Sandwich, demonstrating its commitment to serving the entire community.
The further education college has also announced that it is to move the teaching of its science curriculum to Discovery Park. Students and staff will have the opportunity to use industry standard laboratories, and work alongside the growing community of science-based companies at the Sandwich site.
The relocation of East Kent College’s 70 strong corporate services team will ensure that all its three campuses: Broadstairs in Thanet, and those in Dover and Folkestone, which it takes over responsibility from K College in August, will be of equal status.
As part of the deal, East Kent College will take 5,390ft2 of office and training space within Innovation House, and 893ft2 of laboratory space at Discovery Park. The vacated rooms and offices at the Broadstairs Campus will be used for other training and education.
Graham Razey, Principal of East Kent College, said: “This move marks an important step in our plans to create a further education college that truly reflects our commitment to serving the whole of East Kent. We hope that it sends a strong message to students, their parents and businesses that East Kent College is determined to deliver for this part of the county.”
The Discovery Park decision will ensure that each campus has equal access to the College’s central corporate services, including finance, IT, marketing, employer relations and human resources.
Graham Razey continued: “No single campus will be seen as the head office or have a higher priority than the others, and we believe this will be very positive for the 550 staff working at the three campuses, as well as for the communities they each serve.”
Each of the three campuses will have a management team responsible for the day-to-day operations, including a dedicated HR person, with the executive management team spending time at all three campuses.
The decision was welcomed by Paul Barber, Chief Executive of Discovery Park, who said: “The arrival of East Kent College will appeal to many of the companies already here or currently considering establishing a UK base at Discovery Park.
“Discovery Park is a place where many businesses already collaborate and benefit from each other’s expertise. East Kent College will be a fantastic addition to our community.”
Graham Razey added: “Having looked at a number of possible locations, it was quickly very clear that Discovery Park offered the best option in terms of location, quality and cost.
“As well as accessing the science facilities, it will also present an excellent opportunity for East Kent College to establish links with the 80 or so businesses already at Discovery Park, and demonstrate what we offer in terms of training, as well as student placements and apprenticeships.”
East Kent College will complete the move of its management team to Discovery Park by August 2014.