Boston College’s new bespoke learning centre is expected to cost almost £10million – with construction work on the facility expected to begin in May.
As part of the Boston Town Deal, the government approved Town Deal funding of £9.9million for the Mayflower, with the college providing £725,000 in capital co-funding and £5,546,000 in revenue costs over five years.
A spokesperson for the college said: “The Mayflower reimages the visual concept of a FE College, where botanical gardens will provide a haven from the elements and where the whole community will be able to find sanctuary, hope and future prosperity.
"The unique learning environment will include higher education, aimed at being inclusive, as well as enabling businesses and learners to connect, create and innovate together.”
The Mayflower will be located on the site currently occupied by the college’s Ingelow Centre on Rowley Road. To facilitate the build, the college’s Foundation (Entry/SEND) learners who are based at the Ingelow Centre, will be moving into a newly-refurbished building on the main Rochford Campus.
Claire Foster, Boston College Principal and CEO said: “We are thrilled that planning permission for the iconic Mayflower, the flagship project of Boston's Towns Deal has been granted. The state-of-the-art facility will provide a shining beacon of aspiration for higher level and adult education at a time when our town needs it most.”
As well as higher education, the open, welcoming and nature-filled Mayflower, will provide spaces for voluntary services, careers advice, health and wellbeing support, and opportunities for skills development. The flagship build will also be an instrumental contribution for the town’s economic relaunch, tackling low aspirations and skills gaps through pioneering living and learning spaces enabling digital upskilling.
Following successful bidding, the College will also use capital funding from the Office for Students (OfS) to create a dedicated space within Mayflower which will reflect pedagogical approaches in higher education, promoting hybrid and self-directed learning, peer-led groups and enabling part-time flexible study.
Neil Kempster, Chair of Boston Town Deal, said, “It is fantastic news that planning consent has been granted for the Mayflower. This is a significant step towards creating a new, inspirational centre for learning in Boston. The Mayflower project has always been the flagship scheme within the Town Deal portfolio and it is brilliant news that it has taken a massive step forward with the grant of planning permission. We look forward to continuing to work with Boston College as they bring this important project to fruition, which will provide many more opportunities for local people to gain skills, knowledge and training.”
Councillor Nigel Welton, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning, said, “We are delighted that Boston College have been given the green light with the Mayflower development. This project is going to be a key addition to the Boston College campus and is set to significantly improve adult learning in Boston and surrounding areas.”
Construction work is due to commence on the Mayflower site in May 2023, with the iconic building opening to learners and members of the public in September 2024.