Harrogate College's plea to town for support as judicial review 'puts at risk' £22m investment in a better future

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Harrogate College is calling on the town to back it in a legal battle to save £22 million expansion plans it says would offer a huge boost to skills and training in the town.

The important educational facility, whose roots go back to the 19th century, told the Harrogate Advertiser a judicial review has been called into how the planning application for the college's rebuild has been handled.

It is expected this could cause a delay which will jeopardise the main, Department for Education provided, funding for the project which involves replacing its main building on Hornbeam Park, where it relocated from Bower Road in 1985, as well as constructing a stare-of-the-art renewable energy skills hub.

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The legal obstacle comes just weeks after complaints from business interests at Hornbeam Park over the car parking and transport situation if work on the £22m plans for a new campus were to go ahead.

A judicial review has been called into how the planning application for Harrogate College's £22m rebuild has been handled. (Picture contributed)A judicial review has been called into how the planning application for Harrogate College's £22m rebuild has been handled. (Picture contributed)
A judicial review has been called into how the planning application for Harrogate College's £22m rebuild has been handled. (Picture contributed)

Harrogate College Principal Danny Wild is now calling on local residents and businesses to help by lobbying the DfE, and after the election their MPs, to have the time limit for this funding extended.

Statement from Harrogate College

“Our plans for a £22 million state-of-the-art campus redevelopment will be delayed because a challenge to the planning process has sparked a judicial review.

“This setback means that the planning process will probably need to be run again.

“This will push back the project completion date into 2026.

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“The delay may also put at risk £20m of Department for Education (DfE) funding for the £22m scheme because the DfE grant and loan funding is linked to completing the work in 2025.

“The new campus would be perfectly placed to support the region’s skills needs for the future, boosting our businesses and economy while providing targeted training in key areas like green technology.

“The new Harrogate College will also provide the facilities and courses that young people and adults need to start or develop their careers.

“We are now calling on the people and businesses of Harrogate, Ripon, Boroughbridge, Pateley Bridge and Knaresborough to help us by lobbying the DfE and politicians to ensure that the grant and loan funding for the new college continues to be available for a project completion in 2026.

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“With everyone’s support, we will still be able to see this development, which will benefit so many local people for decades to come, through to its completion."

Danny Wild, Principal, Harrogate College