A multi-million pound transformation of Bradford College has been given the go-ahead.

The £50 million scheme will see the main Westbrook Building demolished and replaced by a new state-of-the-art facility built directly in front of it.

The project comes after the college faced a crushing disappointment when a previous £120 million transformation plan was rejected at the last hurdle two years ago.

But last night, college officials were celebrating after the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, gave permission for the new scaled-down project which will house Westbrook, McMillan Building, Appleton and the Old Building.

College principal Michele Sutton said that it was a very exciting time.

“Our new iconic campus will add to the regeneration of Bradford and will provide a superb student experience,” she said.

“Students will benefit from the bringing together of facilities and curriculum into a single location, new styles of learning which embrace cutting-edge technologies and realistic working environments which will be open to the public.”

The new development will have an area of 23,000 square metres, an overall reduction of 33,000sq m.

Building work is due to start in the summer at the site of the demolished Randall Well building, with students hoped to be in by September 2014.

The remaining college buildings will be sold or put to other use while Lister Building, the Grove Library, Bolton Royd and the Trinity Green campus will be retained.

The college was left bitterly disappointed when its previous project was rejected by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) because it had overcommitted to projects across the country. The college had already spent £2 million on that project, which would have been Phase Two of an overhaul.

Phase One was the £20 million Trinity Green Campus, home to construction, engineering and the sports curriculum.

“Obviously we were very disappointed when we lost out before,” said Miss Sutton.

“However we did not lose the dream for a new build.

“It was clear there would be no further funding for large sums of money from the LSC so we looked at ways we could invest in those buildings ourselves.

“We came up with a new scheme for a new build which will cost £50 million. Up to £35 million of that will be borrowing from banks and £15 million we are investing ourselves.”

A ‘change manager’ has been recruited to liaise with staff about the changes. A consultation period will be held into next month. Miss Sutton said: “The new build will accommodate the same amount of students and teachers and the college is not looking to cut down at all.

“There is a changing need of curriculum with a much greater move towards apprentices, who will spend more time in the workplace but less time in college.”

The college is in talks with unions about contracts for lecturers becoming more flexible because the new building is expected to be open 48 weeks of the year.

“We have this in our hands, our own destiny and legacy to the citizens of Bradford,” said Miss Sutton.

A planning application has now been submitted to Bradford Council.