South Wiltshire UTC could open in Salisbury police station

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Prospective students at the new South Wiltshire University Technical College (UTC) could be taught in a former police station.

Its developers want to take over the Salisbury police station buildings in Wilton Road in September 2014.

Under the proposals, police officers and staff currently based there would be relocated to Wiltshire Council premises in the city centre.

A public consultation on the plans will begin in July.

The college, which has secured £40m of government funding, will specialise in science and engineering for defence industries and cater for students aged 14 to 18.

'Well-known landmark'

Project manager Gordon Aitken said: "We will have students travelling in from up to 20 miles in any direction so the first thing we wanted was somewhere you could easily get to from the railway station, and obviously Wilton Road fitted that criteria.

"The other thing we wanted was a building that was a large, solid well-known landmark within Salisbury, which clearly the police station is."

The aim of UTCs is for pupils to get an insight into the application of science and engineering in industry in the hope of making them more employable when they leave school.

The government hopes to create up to 28 UTCs in England and Wales by 2014.

Plans for the South Wiltshire college have been backed by Qinetic and Aspire Defence Services, 43 Wessex Brigade, the University of Southampton, Wiltshire College and Wiltshire Council.

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