A college has been given permission to build a £5m STEM centre on its Braintree campus.

The Colchester Institute, which runs the College at Braintree, was given approval for the plans by Braintree Council on November 14.

It will now build the specialist science, technology, engineering and mathematics building next to its other STEM Innovation Centre in Church Lane, which opened in April 2017.

The centre already in place benefits students studying manufacturing, construction, engineering, digital media and IT.

Funding for the buildings mainly came from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) after the College won a share of £22, as well as £980,000 in match-funding from Essex County Council.

It is hoped the new building will be available to support students in autumn 2019.

Gary Horne, executive vice-principal, said: “Colchester Institute Corporation is delighted to receive the news that full planning permission has been granted to support phase two of the Braintree Campus masterplan.

“This will complement the successful £6m investment in the STEM Innovation Centre that was opened last year, and will support the achievement of the campus redevelopment vision by the close of 2019.”

The centre piece of the new facility is the IT and Digital Media Centre, which the College says is an area growing rapidly in terms of student numbers and employer demand.

Approval for the building means the College is now one step closer to its goal of becoming a centre of advanced technology.

Similar to the existing STEM Innovation Centre, the new technology centre will house industry-standard equipment in state-of-the-art facilities.

It also means the College can demolish nine buildings, which it says are no longer economical and unfit to support STEM curriculum delivery