The Public
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The Public art gallery in West Bromwich opens as a college

A £72m arts centre in West Bromwich has reopened as a sixth form college.

The Public closed in November, just five years after it opened, as Sandwell Council said it could no longer afford to support it.

The gallery was intended to revitalise the community, but ran into difficulties during building work, due to delays and rising debts.

Even after it was completed, it cost the local authority £30,000 a week in subsidies.

Transforming it into a college has taken six months and cost almost £6m.

Inside the centre, which is now called Sandwell College Central Sixth, the theatre and offices have been replaced by classrooms.

About 500 students are initially expected to use the building, rising to 800 in future years.

  • 10 Sep 2014
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