AMBITIOUS plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment of an Isleworth college are gaining momentum after it applied for a huge government grant.

West Thames College wants to demolish up to six buildings on its London Road site and replace them with three new state-of-the-art teaching blocks and a nursery.

The £58million project would create over 15,000m2 of additional teaching space, but relies on funding from the Learning and Skills Council.

New facilities would include IT suites, laboratories, studios, workshops, a theatre, library and all-weather sports pitch.
Principal Thalia Marriott promised the new campus would give students '21st-century learning at its very best'.

She added: "The redevelopment of the college, coupled with our excellent track record of having the second-highest success rate in London and a very good Ofsted inspection in 2007, will improve the environment for the local
community and give our students the state-of-the-art facilities they deserve."

Centre chiefs hope the 'exceptional quality of the new buildings', in place of 1960s and 1980s blocks, will improve the standard and accessibility of the campus.

They also aim to make Grade-II listed Spring Grove House Ð which dates back to the 18th century Ð more of a prominent feature.

Internal renovations will include new lifts and stairs, while landscaping will give the public better views of the historic mansion.

The new 'greener' college site will also incorporate principles of sustainable design.

Ms Marriott added: "From the outset we have planned to build a greener college with a reduced carbon footprint."

Despite writing to more than 700 nearby residents and businesses last year, and holding an exhibition showcasing the plans in September, no objections have yet been raised to the plans.

Brentford and Isleworth councillors reacted positively to the scheme at a meeting last Thursday, and planning bosses are now expected to give the green light next month.

The college, which provides vocational and academic courses to around 2,000 full-time and 5,000 part-time students and employs 370 full-time staff, would temporarily relocate during building work, which would begin this summer.