A GIANT new college campus will finally open in September... and apprentice plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators will help fit out the new building.

The Prospects College campus for around 500 students, in Luckyn Lane, Basildon, was supposed to open in September last year.

However, its construction was put on hold because of delays with the Skills and Funding Agency handing over £5million funding.

The Government agency eventually provided the money and building work is now on schedule to meet a completion deadline of August this year, before the three-storey building opening to students a month later.

The college’s chief executive Neil Bates, 46, is arranging for apprentices, who are already learning trades with Prospects and through placements with local firms, to help with wiring, plumbing, carpentry, and decorating the new building.

He said: “We’re going to ensure young apprentices will get to work on the construction and fitting of the new building.

“The original plan was that the centre would have opened last September, but we ran into funding difficulties which have now been resolved.”

Mr Bates, who also runs Prospects’ other campus in Southend, added there has been an important addition to the original plans for the new Basildon site.

A students’ restaurant will now be built between the existing smaller college base, which faces Crompton Close, but backs on to Luckyn Lane, and the new three-storey building.

He said: “At the moment students have to go across to somewhere like Asda to eat, which isn’t ideal. Having a restaurant on the site will give them a better all-round college campus experience.”

Mr Bates added the college’s Crompton Close base, which opened in 2007, was built on the site of an old print firm’s derelict office.

The new three-storey building will stand on the site of the former Hazelwood Food factory, which had been closed for nine years before it was cleared to make way for the college.

He said: “The completion of this new building will finish the transformation of a site which contained two run down buildings, into an exciting campus.”