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Cash sought for new school of nursing in King's Lynn

Plans have been outlined to develop a new school of nursing on Lynn’s college campus.

The idea is one of two projects which have been put forward in an effort to secure £750,000 of what is being termed “accelerated funding”, related to the Town Deal scheme.

And West Norfolk councillors have been told a decision on the proposals is expected imminently.

Bosses of Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital believe that a new school of nursing in the town could make it easier to recruit staff.
Bosses of Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital believe that a new school of nursing in the town could make it easier to recruit staff.

Members of the borough council’s regeneration and development panel heard of the plans during a virtual meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Officer Duncan Hall said the town had been allocated £750,000 out of a central pool of money, which is separate from the £25 million that is available under the Town Deal initiative, as a means of investing in areas this year.

And he revealed that most of the funding, if the plans were approved, would go towards the school of nursing project, which is set to be based on the College of West Anglia campus in Tennyson Avenue.

The College of West Anglia (41852391)
The College of West Anglia (41852391)

He said: “We’re asking for £597,000 to create within their campus, to effectively modify one of their buildings to create a ward and provide all of the equipment necessary.”

The panel was also told that development of the course programme is well underway.

Courses would be delivered in conjunction with Anglia Ruskin University, who already award qualifications for degree programmes taught at the college’s University Centre West Anglia complex.

Mr Hall added: “We expect to hear something from the government this week.”

The development of specialist nurse training provision has been sought for some time as a means of tackling a long-term shortage of staff within the NHS.

Last year, Caroline Shaw, the chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, suggested that such a facility in Lynn could make it easier to attract staff to work here.

The remainder of the cash would be used on projects intended to help the safe re-opening of the town following the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Hall said schemes that could benefit from that include the improvement of outdoor street furniture, the potential extension of existing pedestrianised zones and even the establishment of cycling hubs.

He added that the authority hopes to submit its broader investment plan for the deal itself by the end of next month, following discussions within the council, with the Town Investment Board and other stakeholders.

It is hoped that priorities for where the investment is targeted can be agreed around the turn of the year.

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