Kingston Maurward College's £4.5m expansion set to go ahead

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image copyrightKingston Maurwood
image captionThe building will support students and local businesses

A proposed £4.5m expansion to an agricultural college is set to go ahead.

Kingston Maurward College's university hub and rural business centre is planned for its site near Dorchester, Dorset.

An initial objection from Historic England has been dropped, following changes to the original design.

Principal Luke Rake described it as "a potential game-changer for the local student and business community".

image copyrightLDRS
image captionThe site is on the western edge of the college estate, within a cluster of buildings known as Stinsford Farm

The centre will provide about 875 sq m (9,400 sq ft) of teaching, office and collaborative space, as well as room for small businesses, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The site is on the western edge of the college estate, within a cluster of buildings known as Stinsford Farm.

Historic England dropped its initial objection but was still critical of some design aspects, describing the parking areas and access road as "still more akin to a business park than a farmstead".

The facility will mainly be used by students aged over 18, and include teaching spaces, open areas, a formal lecture theatre and a cafe.

The centre would also house business "incubation units", offering support for newly created businesses surrounding the farming industry.

It is expected to open by September 2022.

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