Plans to build a £2.2m extension to Stamford College’s Borderville Sports Centre are now going ahead after being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The refurbishment is approved and jointly funded by both Stamford College and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and will extend and upgrade the centre’s already impressive facilities, providing six additional classrooms, a specialist sports laboratory and a fitness studio.

Janet Meenaghan, Principal at Stamford College, said: “Stamford College is really pleased to see these plans coming to life. We’re very eager to see the project boost Stamford’s educational and fitness offer further and look forward to watching our students enjoy the new facilities.”

The project team, including the LEP and Stamford College, have been delighted to receive strong support from the Stamford College Board with regard to ring-fencing 50% of the required investment from college reserves.

Clare Hughes, Skills Manager at the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "The Greater Lincolnshire LEP is delighted to be supporting this exciting development with £1.12m of grant funding.

"The scheme will not only deliver 21 new training courses for local students to help them prepare for work, and an apprenticeship programme focused on sports, public services health and social care, it will also provide much needed dedicated training space for our defence sector."

The project addresses Greater Lincolnshire’s Local Industrial Strategy, supporting economic growth and increased productivity through high-quality technical education for our local communities.

This enables New College Stamford to meet student growth, help address local skills gaps and meet employer needs in key sector priorities with higher level, digitally enhanced training, including the Air and Defence College initiative which Stamford College delivers in partnership with the RAF in Lincolnshire.

Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies visited the site recently; Mr Davies has supported the project since its initial stages and is excited to see the investment progress and deliver on key targets and ambitions for the area.

“The Borderville project offers an exciting new investment to Stamford and I am pleased to see the progress that has been made on site," said Mr Davies.

"It will no doubt offer an excellent return to the people of Stamford, providing outstanding educational facilities to students and enhanced health and fitness benefits to the community. I am excited to watch the project take shape and fulfil its potential here in Stamford.”

The Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP, said: “We want to get building to help fuel our economic recovery, improve our infrastructure and create the jobs we need to get communities back on their feet.

“That is why I am delighted to see work is now under way at Stamford College’s Borderville Sports Centre."

Contractor Lindum Group is on track to open the doors to students in January 2021.

Borderville Sports Centre is a shared enterprise between Stamford College and Stamford Football Club and enjoys good relationships with many local sporting clubs and teams such as Stamford Athletic Football Club, (represented by its Chairman, David Whitby) which has been fully behind the project from day one.

Since its opening in 2014 Borderville Sports Centre has been a hub of the community, and as the expansion project focuses on skills development across several sectors, alongside the support of local businesses, the college will be able to continue involving employers in the development of its curriculum, supporting business innovation through new business models and use of emerging technologies, as well as developing new flexible and distance learning options.

The college anticipates that this will allow for the delivery of 10 new qualifications at the centre by 2021/22, including six university level qualifications and Higher Apprenticeships, particularly in Health and Social Care.