Farnborough College of Technology wants to build a new university centre on its campus to establish itself as a provider of higher education.

The college, in Boundary Road, announced plans for its University Centre Farnborough building last week.

The 2,500sq/m building will house a learning resource centre for the college – to be used by its 5,000 students – and classroom space for the teaching of more than 40 higher education courses.

The development is set to cost £7.5 million and the college hopes to open the centre by September 2016.

College principal Christine Slaymaker said: “This new building will make an impressive entrance to the campus.

“It will establish our commitment to offering higher education degrees in first class accommodation.

“University Centre Farnborough will continue the already exceptional work we are doing in this field of education.”

Farnborough College of Technology offers a range of Foundation, BA, BSc and postgraduate degrees, including accounting, business, early years education, journalism and photography, and was accorded accreditation from the University of Surrey in January 2002.

The proposal comes after planning permission was granted by Rushmoor Borough Council last month to replace the college’s derelict former East End School site, in Mount Pleasant Road, Aldershot, with 14 three-bedroom houses.

The college had previously said it planned to sell the land once planning permission was in place and to cash in on the site.

A spokesman for the college said: “The sale of the East End site goes into the financial account reserve for the college so some of it will be used for the [new] building but we have ongoing projects all the time.

“We hope to get match funding from other areas if we are successful but financially we are secure, we will fund it ourselves.

“But we will be looking for match funding for support if we can get some additional help.”

The proposed building will be sited on the college’s front lawn, which is used currently as a car park.

The spokesman added: “The building has been designed to reflect its surroundings, along with the college’s emphasis on a building of quality and cost-effectiveness.

“The college is not a stranger to this type of building project, with the Aerospace and Automotive Academy having been built in March 2009 and completed on schedule and within the budget allocation of £6.7 million.”

The college said it does not intend to offer a wider range of courses but to offer them in better surroundings. The intention is to submit a planning application for the building within two months.