THREE state-of-the-art buildings have been finished at Witney’s college campus and students could move in within weeks.

The £7.4m self-financed project at Abingdon and Witney College has created a new building and revamped two existing ones.

It includes TV and radio studios, editing suites, beauty and hairdressing salons, art and design studios, science labs, a library and IT facilities.

The project also boasts a new Welch Way entrance to the college with an avenue of trees running up to the buildings.

Keys to the new building will be handed over on Friday and college chiefs hope it will be in full use by June.

The scheme almost collapsed in 2009 when the Learning and Skills Council, which used to fund colleges, ran out of cash and cut £28m of funding.

Staff and students had already moved out of the old buildings leaving the college to rethink and self-fund the project.

Now, 18 months after the planning application went in, the scheme is on time and on budget.

Vice principal Di Batchelor said: “It is hugely exciting.

“It makes the centre of Witney look a lot smarter, and the college looks a lot more inviting and open than it did before.

“The new buildings are meant to fit into the community and be an asset to the town, and I think they achieve that.

“They should benefit everyone.”

She said the old buildings were completely unsuitable and not fit for modern teaching and learning.

She added: “They were old, were inaccessible and had squirrels in the roof.

“The new buildings will allow us to offer the highest quality teaching and learning and the students will have the latest facilities.”

Project manager Michael Chiyasa said: “It has all gone smoothly. Normally when you judge a project it’s on whether it has come under budget, has finished on time and whether it has been completed to the standard expected. We have achieved all three.”

The college is currently consulting on a three-year plan for the future development, which went to governors last week.

Ms Batchelor remained tight-lipped about the details, but said the college had “some thoughts” about the former Witney Magistrates’ Court, which it owns.

She said: “We would like to spruce it up so that it fits with the rest of the campus and we are working on that.”

But she added: “One project at a time.”

Once the buildings have been fitted out in the coming weeks, the college will run open days so members of the public can have a look around.

For more information, call 01993 703464 or visit