The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) is expanding in Helensburgh, taking over the Kirkmichael Centre.
UHI’s Argyll College will use the building to establish its first stand-alone base in the town, it was announced today.
The college has been looking to increase its provision locally and the investment is expected to begin in September.
This will supplement the college’s existing provision of full-time dance and drama courses, which are currently delivered in Helensburgh in conjunction with the Tower Digital Arts Centre.
Fraser Durie, principal of Argyll College UHI, said: ‘The college is seeking to secure funding for the first two years of operation to allow us to work with local businesses and communities to ensure we offer a curriculum tailored to meet local needs.
“Residents will soon have access to a range of certified Further and Higher education courses in areas such as business, administration, social sciences, childcare, sport and fitness and engineering.
“We expect the curriculum offered to expand and evolve as the centre develops and we assess local demand.”
The building will be utilised for an initial period of two years with arrangements being in place to allow existing community groups to continue to use the centre. Following the trial there will be an opportunity to continue the occupation or purchase the building.
Argyll and Bute Council leader Aileen Morton said: “We are really pleased that Argyll College UHI will be using the Kirkmichael Centre to expand its presence in Argyll and Bute.
“It’s great news that the building will be used for an educational purpose which will not only benefit local students but the community as a whole.”
The council says that number of staff at the centre has gradually been reduced as they move to the Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre.