AN £11million investment for Bournemouth and Poole College has been given the green light by planners.

Funded jointly by the Skills Funding Agency and the College, the scheme will transform the heart of the North Road campus in Poole.

It will create a modern theatre for performing arts and a complex of classrooms for media studies and health and medical sciences within an L-shaped building.

Work is due to begin in March on the site which is currently occupied by chalet-style temporary cabins, used since the early 70s as classrooms.

And it will see the Jellicoe Theatre, currently at Constitution Hill, moving to a new 136-seat home, along with a performance space to replace St Andrew’s Hall.

College principal Lawrence Vincent said: “This extensive development will be a real benefit for the whole of Poole. It’s not just about college staff and students.

“We are grateful to the SFA for its assistance with the funding to help the college move forward with facilities that are modern and fit for purpose. The council in Poole also deserves full praise for its support in helping create a college designed for the modern era in the heart of the town.

“It represents another major step forward for The Bournemouth & Poole College. The North Road site has served us well over many years but the new building, due for completion in 2015 will add enormously to the college learning experience.”

There will also be a Learning Resources Centre, new laboratories and a Digital Media Centre and the new building will increase the area of the college at North Road by 4,600 square metres, linked to the existing main buildings.

Ken Roberts, executive director of resources, is overseeing the project. “This is a really exciting development for the college and everyone associated with it,” he said. The new structure will provide modern state-of-the-art facilities to replace all the buildings currently used at our Lower Constitution Hill site.”