THE Principal of the South Essex College says a new £30million College would mean ‘investing in Basildon’s future’.

Angela O’Donoghue says a potential move from Nethermayne to Basildon market square would boost falling education standards in the borough and give a much needed lift to the local economy.

The decision, although not confirmed yet, has been recommended for approval by Basildon Council to be discussed on Tuesday.

Mrs O’Donoghue said: “I met with Stephen Metcalfe MP and councillor John Schofield before Christmas to explain why we need to move from our current site. The current buildings were built 40 years ago and were meant to last 25 years. We keep patching them up and they do the job, but the people of Basildon deserve better than a building that just does the job.”

South Essex College has been expanding across the south of the county - Southend will see the opening of a £27million education centre in the summer and Thurrock’s South Essex College campus, which cost £45million, will be built in Grays town centre, and is scheduled to open by September 2014.

The Basildon college would facilitate 2,000 students, double what the Nethermayne college holds, and introduce new A-Level courses. There would also be a pedestrianised link between the new college and railway station.

Mrs O’Donoghue said moving the college was necessary as the Nethermayne building was aging and needed to be made more modern. She said in a recent poll of the staff and students there showed 84 per cent polled in support of the move.

“The lecturers and students are what make this college a great place to be, but the campus is suffering from an aging building. Although the resources at the current campus are very good, they are expensive to maintain and our students and the courses they need today mean we have different building demands and expectations than those of the last century.”