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Media college plan set for the go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 17:12 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:02 12 August 2010

THE construction of a brand new media college will still go ahead after it was threatened by a developer backing out of a deal. Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, currently in Walden Road, Chislehurst, almost had to pull out of a £50 milli

THE construction of a brand new media college will still go ahead after it was threatened by a developer backing out of a deal.

Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, currently in Walden Road, Chislehurst, almost had to pull out of a £50 million project for a new college in Greenwich Peninsula when developers Taylor Wimpey, who were supposed to be buying their Chislehurst site, devalued it by £10 million.

But the college was handed a lifeline 'bridging loan' of £10 million to fund their new building by public sector regeneration agency, English Partnerships (EP) and construction work has now begun.

Principal of Ravensbourne College, Robin Baker, said: "We are delighted that the college has begun the next stage of transformation by starting to build at Greenwich Peninsula. This will allow for relocation in summer 2010 and the beginning of a new era."

The building is designed by Foreign Office Architects. The college website describes the new site as a "building that is big, bold and utterly beguiling" which will have "wide-open spaces and quiet corners, social spaces, galleries, workshops and technology hubs, design studios and production suites."

Area Director for South London Gateway at EP Phil Dibsdale said: "We are thrilled that work has begun on a new home for Ravensbourne College which will provide a fantastic new facility for students. People make places and this new centre of creative learning will add further vitality and momentum to the growth and regeneration of this exciting part of London." Thames Gateway Minister Margaret Beckett said: "Investing in infrastructure and education facilities can bring new skills to the Greenwich Peninsula and surrounding area. Ravensbourne College is a vital part of delivering our new skills agenda."

Taylor Wimpey refused to comment because of the "confidential nature of the contract

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