WHILE the new build is underway, uncertainty surrounds the future of the old South West College building which will be vacant after the doors of the new college opens.
The prominent site at the Gaol Square just off Belmore Street will be left empty, and fears have previously been raised that the building will turn into an eyesore, and the closure would impact businesses in the area.
South West College is currently on a 4.6 acre site and is home to two listed buildings.
Fiona Brazil, Project Co-ordinator of the new build said, “The old building has to go back into the public sector and an internal trawl has to be carried out to follow protocol and then public sector bodies can express their interest.
“If there is no interest, it goes out for sale.” she added.
“We will expect to be starting this process at the start of 2020.”
When asked about the impact that the relocation of SWC will have on the town, Ms Brazil said: “It will just relocate businesses. It should bring a buzz to this end of the town.
“At the minute, we have the luxury of a lot of eateries around where SWC is based now so smaller businesses will hopefully grow around this area.”
Speaking to the Herald in April 2017, Sara Boyd, of Turning Point Properties believes the current site ‘needs to be occupied or redeveloped in order to maintain the vitality and viability of the town centre.’
“Personally I have mixed views as I feel the SWC should have remained in its current location.
“However its current location limits its capacity in expanding and its new location brings new life to that side of town.
“The current SWC is surrounded by many retail units, convenience shops and food outlets which rely on the students of the college,” she added.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition
Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere