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City of Wolverhampton College to move sites by 2019, says boss

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The City of Wolverhampton College is set to move to a new base in the city centre in three years time, the Express & Star can reveal.

Negotiations are taking place between college bosses, Wolverhampton council and the Black Country LEP that will see the college leave the Paget Road site it has occupied for the past 17 years.

Moving to a new main campus is considered a priority for the college after a Government review criticised Paget Road as being dilapidated and too far away from the city centre.

In the review, which is due to be published next month, the Department for Education has ordered the college to significantly improve its facilities.

Claire Boliver, college principal, said: "In respect of the quality of our provision, the college is moving forward.

"But the review is clear that Paget Road no longer suits our needs. From our perspective it is also too expensive to run. We have been looking to move to a dedicated campus in the city centre for a long time, but financial restrictions have stopped this from happening.

"A new learning quarter will be ideal for us, and would form part of a city wide plan we are working on with the council and the LEP to improve access to education for all. We would hope to be out of Paget Road and into a new build by September 2019."

The college had previously pinpointed a section of the old Royal Hospital site in All Saints for a new campus, but was put off by high costs.

That land has now been bought by the Homes and Communities Agency and will be developed into housing.

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Ms Boliver added: "We are not prepared to take on any debt to fund a new build as we want to invest our money in the students."

The Express & Star understands that an area between Wolverhampton Library and the Church of St John in the Square has been earmarked as a potential site for the learning quarter.

Former Wolves owner Steve Morgan's Redrow firm has previously shown an interest the Paget Road site for a housing development.

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