Anglia Ruskin University has received approval to open up Essex’s first School of Medicine for undergraduates.

The General Medical Council has approved Anglia Ruskin’s medical education programme, meaning the university now officially has School of Medicine status.

The £20million school will be situated at the Chelmsford campus which means aspiring doctors can now come to Essex to train for their Bachelor of Medicine degree.

This will give aspiring GPs from nearby areas, such as Basildon and Rayleigh, the opportunity to train for their dream profession while not having to move to a different city and foot the cost of living away from home.

Students will be able to begin their degree as soon as September next year when the new academic year begins.

Last year it was announced that the Government would fund an additional 1,500 training places through medical schools each year from 2018 and Anglia Ruskin University have said they will be bidding for a number of these places.

Dr Ruth Jackson, Vice Chancellor for the School of Medicine Development, said: “We are passionate about making a significant contribution to the medical workforce in Essex.

“At the moment, there is no opportunity in Essex for the most able students in regional schools to practice medicine.

“We hope that the School of Medicine will change this and help the county and wider region to train and retain its own doctors.

“The road to GMC approval is, quite correctly, a lengthy and rigorous process and we are delighted that our medical education programme has met these stringent requirements.

“We will continue to work closely with the GMC once the programme is under way.”