The new Rutland County College site in Barleythorpe is ahead of schedule

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DEVELOPERS working on a new post-16 college in Oakham are currently five weeks ahead of schedule.

The new Rutland County College site in Barleythorpe is due to open in September but head of the sixthform facility and vice-principal at Casterton Business and Enterprise College Carl Smith says they are hoping to be open for registration in August.

He said: “The good weather means that the concrete has set and all of the groundwork has been done, leaving us five weeks ahead of schedule.

“We are hoping to start moving across in phases in June and be open for registration on GCSE results day in August.”

Plans for two new community football pitches which will be based at the new college have been submitted to Rutland County Council.

In November the council agreed to invest £250,000 into the new pitches and a clubhouse as it was felt that the current facilities available in the town were not up to standard for senior sides.

Oakham United, which formed last summer and is currently based at Catmose Sports Centre in Huntsman Drive, Oakham, will use the pitches and club house for training and home games. It will share the facilities with the college.

Vice-chairman Alistair Forbes of Glebe Way, Oakham, submitted the application. He said: “If the plans are approved we hope to use it in the 2013/14 season.

“Hopefully the work will be completed by the end of the summer and we need three grass growing seasons before the pitch will be suitable for use.”

An accommodation block which was used for people on courses at the former EEF Training and Conference Centre at the site will be transformed into a club house with bathroom facilities for spectators, a kitchen, a lounge and a refreshments area.

Mr Forbes added: “The infrastructure is already there and I am sure that if the planning application goes through the pitches will be a great addition to the college.”

Until the new pitches are ready, the college will use the facilities at Catmose Sports Centre.

Mr Smith said: “We are really pleased with the way things are looking up at the new site. The contractors have done a great job.

“The football facilities will not only benefit us but the many community groups we work with.

“I would personally like to thank the council and the project manager Jim French as his work has been excellent.”