Doncaster university 'boost to town centre'

Anne Tyrrell at Doncaster College
Anne Tyrrell at Doncaster College

Doncaster College and university centre can help boost Doncaster town centre's fortunes, say its leaders.

The prediction comes as three high profile Doncaster venues are being brought into use as part of degree courses as University Centre Doncaster starts its new term after leaving High Melton.

Bu the future of the former university campus at High Melton remains uncertain after it was closed down by the college earlier this year.

A number of the students have now moved into rooms at the main Doncaster College Hub building on Doncaster Waterfront. But now students are also to use the Cast Theatre, and the Communications College Doncaster deaf school on Leger way as part of their degree courses.

The theatre will be used for students taking performing arts degrees.

The communication college on Leger Way will be used by students taking sports related degrees and courses.

The interim joint chief executive of the college and university centre, Anne Tyrrell said: "The university centre has moved, and we think that has been a positive experience.

"The majority of the students are now here at the hub - it already has 1,500 higher education students. That is the start of a critical mass of students and a university presence in Doncaster.

"We have high levels of skills from degree to postgraduate MBA courses. Now we also have students at Cast for drama and performing arts - that is really positive. It means our students have access to that professional environment."

Previously the drama students had been based at High Melton, which had its own stage facilities. Also based there were sports related courses.

They have also had to relocate and are now to use facilities run by the Doncaster Deaf Trust, near Doncaster Racecourse.

"All the sites have been selected with real care, to get good facilities ." added Ms Tyrrell. "We have refurbished part of the college for the university students so that they have access to better technology."

"We see growth of higher education and University Centre Doncaster as centrally important to the growth of the college and centrally important to Doncaster.

"Growth can be something that really helps develop the town centre and brings people into Doncaster.

"We want to work in partnership with Team Doncaster - it is about Doncaster growing together."

But the future of the former college site is uncertain.

Ms Tyrrell said the building is out to tender at present.

The building is entirely owned by Doncaster College, but Ms Tyrrell said its sale was not built into any of the college's current plans.

The building has also been used as a wedding venue, and weddings will continue there until Christmas.