New Adult Skills Academy and housing earmarked for Oakdale site

A new adult skills and learning centre and additional housing have been identified for the current Oakdale Adult Learning Centre site.

Councillors considered an outline business case at Cabinet on 8 January 2018 which sets out a preferred proposal to redevelop the two adjoining council-owned sites (Wimborne Road and Darby’s Lane, Poole) to replace the existing deteriorating adult skills and learning building and portacabins. 

A new purpose-built modern Adult Skills Academy would be developed as well as approximately 60 residential units on site.

Members have approved £200,000 budget to progress the project to Full Business Case stage.

Councillor John Challinor, Cabinet Member for Strategic Commercialisation and Estates, Communications and Leisure, said: “The current Oakdale Skills and Learning Centre is the service headquarters and is extremely well used and its location is vital to its success. The current building was built in 1906 and is no longer fit for purpose. We will ensure that it continues to be operational for existing learners but the level of work required to bring it back up to a modern standard would not be viable. We recognise the importance of retaining this valuable service and so the proposal to develop a purpose-built modern facility makes both financial and practical sense. A new Adult Skills Academy building would be a real asset for the whole community.”

Councillor Karen Rampton, Cabinet Member for Heath, Social Care and Housing said: “Providing additional housing, including affordable housing for local people is a key priority for the Council. This proposal presents the opportunity to make best use of the Council’s land and assets whilst retaining and improving a very popular Skills and Learning centre.”

Proposed timelines for the project will be developed as part of the Full Business Case but the project would be phased across several years to ensure business continuity for the Skills and Learning service.

The outcome of the Full Business Case and any decisions on potential delivery of a capital scheme arising from this work will be made by the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council from 1 April 2019.

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