Plans to demolish Feltham People's Centre have been defended by the principle of West Thames College.
Marjorie Semple, head of the Isleworth college, has defended the college's plans to raze Feltham People's Centre and replace it with the Feltham Skills Centre (pictured).
She insists the new £20million education centre will help residents through the recession.
Ms Semple said: "The new skills centre will be of great importance to the people of the town."
"It will allow us to give residents the skills they need to deal with the turbulent economy and to benefit from the eventual recovery."
The People's Centre, in High Street, was home to Feltham Community Association for 17 years until it was forced out in May, provoking outrage among residents.
And the suggestion the historic building could also disappear has prompted concern among members of Feltham History Group.
Eddie Menday, of Feltham History Group, said: "We'd be terribly upset to see them tear down one of the oldest buildings on the High Street. The People's Centre is one of the only 1930s buildings left and the idea of the preservation area was to protect these last pieces of old Feltham."
But Ms Semple insists the benefits of the scheme outweigh the negatives and says it has been well-received among local councillors.
"The centre will offer practical skills training in areas of high local demand such as catering, hairdressing, motor vehicle engineering and construction," she added.
"It will be a shop window for training and it will safeguard the future of skills development and learning in Feltham for generations to come.
"Economically, the new skills centre will make a positive contribution to the regeneration of the Feltham area and, with an investment of £20m, it will provide a valuable boost to the local economy."
At a meeting of Hounslow Council's West Area Committee last month, she vowed if the new centre got the nod it would make a 'major contribution' to boosting the number of 16-year-olds achieving the equivalent of five GCSE AC grades each year.
The main areas of concern raised by councillors during the meeting were about travel and parking, a proposed roof garden, potential noise and the colour scheme on the front of the building.
The college expects to enter its planning application to the council in January 2009.