ROTHERHAM Borough Council has approved a bid from Rotherham’s biggest college for a £5 million loan.
The council’s Cabinet has agreed to lend Rotherham College of Arts and Technology the cash to fund the first phase of its rebuilding plans.
The money will be repaid with interest over 25 years and adds to the £3.15 million the college is putting into the project itself.
Council officers said that the college had an official financial rating of 'outstanding' as the result of prudent management over several years.
A spokesman said: “Thee funding arrangements for this project will enable the college to ensure that it maintains its sound financial position and will support the continued growth and success of the college.”
We asked website users to vote on whether the council should grant the loan. The result was split, with 42% saying the loan should be granted and 57% saying it should not. Click here to join the vote.
The money will be used to build a new three storey building will be erected on the site of the recently-demolished Floreat House on Howard Street.
It will become the main entrance for the town centre campus and provide new state of the art teaching and learning facilities as well as student social space.
Martin Kimber, Chief Executive of Rotherham Borough Council, said after the meeting he was delighted that members agreed to support the offer of the loan.
Elaine Woodhams, interim principal and chief executive of the college, said: "The college is pleased to have access to this loan facility and is grateful to Cabinet members for their support for our plans.
“Governors at the college will now meet at a full Corporation meeting in October and consider the funding arrangements and final proposals for the planned new building.
“A new building in the town centre such as ours is undoubtedly good news for Rotherham and will contribute towards the renaissance of the town centre.
“Our proposed new building uses modern architecture, construction techniques and materials and is set to become a distinctive feature of the town centre as well as offering excellent functionality.”