A £6 million university building will be added to the College of West Anglia’s Lynn campus if plans get approved.
West Norfolk Council has identified raising the level of skills of people in the borough as a priority in securing the area’s economic future and is working with the college on a proposal for the new facility.
Mr Pomfret, college principal, said the university is currently “an ambition rather than a certainty,” but an application for planning permission could be submitted early next year. Funding will then be sought from the local enterprise partnerships.
Mr Pomfret said: “Talking to employers there is a demand for higher level skills development in the area.
“We already run around 19 different higher level courses at the college and have well over 300 higher education students but not having a discreet university centre, that is there to make a real statement, is a real barrier.”
The college has earmarked part of the area previously occupied by a technology block on its Tennyson Avenue site to house the new university. There would not be any associated accommodation and the facility would be primarily designed to serve the local community.
Mr Pomfret expects an additional 100 to 200 students would be housed within it and said no extra parking is likely to be available on site, but work is under way to try to reduce the number of people who drive to the college site.
Previously, residents in adjoining streets have complained about students parking their cars there.
The number of people in West Norfolk educated to a degree level or equivalent is around seven per cent below the national average of 34.4 per cent.