WORK is due to start later this month on a multi-million pound expansion at Swindon College.

Contracts are due to be signed in the coming days meaning building can begin on a brand new Construction Centre on the campus, opening up new opportunities to potential students.

Permission was initially granted early in 2013 but due to issues arising when the work was due to start, it was postponed.

It is hoped it will be ready to open in September.

An extension to the gym was also given permission but this has been put back following budget issues.

The centre will provide work spaces to teach bricklaying and plastering, further cementing the college’s as one of the south west’s top institutions for training apprentices to work in the construction industry.

Andrew Miller, the principal of Swindon College, said: “We had hoped to start work last year but we had problems because of the site’s proximity to the rail tracks.

“Now though we believe work should be able to start on January 20. We had a look across the college to work out where the extension could be of most use.

“Opening the construction centre will mean having everything all on one site as at the moment the brickwork is being taught off site at Kembrey.

“In terms of the gym extension, that is going to be something for the long term because of the cost. Hopefully we will be able to start next year.”

The overall cost of the work will be £2.6m, with the college providing two thirds of the funds and the rest being provided through a government grant.

Later on this year work will also begin on upgrading the college’s important facilities elsewhere on the campus.

Andrew said: “This is a really exciting time for the college. Over the coming years there are huge amounts of building projects due all around Swindon and the local area.

“Swindon College already has a strong reputation for providing apprentices and now we will be able to provide a very good source of employment for the town’s developers.

“In May we will be starting work on refurbishing our facilities for students with learning difficulties.

“Although it will mean several work sites at the same time it will lead to a strong future for the college.”