WATCH: Timelapse as demolition starts at City College Norwich

The site will house the new Digi-Tech Factory. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The site will house the new Digi-Tech Factory. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

Demolition is underway at City College Norwich (CCN) as an entire block is knocked down to pave way for 'futuristic' digital arts building.

Jon Bonham at the demolition site. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Jon Bonham at the demolition site. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

The demolition of the Southwell building, which began life as student accommodation and later used for storage and offices, began on Friday and will take three weeks to complete.

Brooke-based demolition company DR Cole is in charge of the project and workers are using grabbers to chip away the bricks.

The site will make way for the new Digi-Tech Factory which will begin construction in January 2020, subject to planning approval.

The new building is slated to open in autumn 2021. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The new building is slated to open in autumn 2021. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

If all goes to plan the new building will welcome its first students in autumn 2021.


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Jon Bonham, the director of estates and facilities at CCN, said: "It will be state-of-the-art and a beacon for the Eastern region."

Taking inspiration from Google offices, the industry-standard building will feature break-out rooms and shared spaces designed to encourage creativity.

The demolition will take three weeks to complete. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The demolition will take three weeks to complete. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

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It will also house virtual reality rooms and computers labs to train the next generation of IT experts.

And it's not just the building that will be cutting edge.

Prospective students will study T Levels - a brand new two-year technical course for further education.

They will learn everything from app design to artificial intelligence.

Mr Bonham, from Overstrand, added: "It won't be about traditional teaching."

However not everything is being catapulted to the future.

The design of the building is based on shoe factories - a nod to Norwich's illustrious past as a foot wear manufacturing hubbub.

And for many the site still holds fond memories.

John Wheeler, who worked at CCN for 35 years, said the Southwell building was a special place.

He added: "There was a great happy, fun and family atmosphere about the place.

"I have so many happy memories it would be wrong to pick just one. "

Mr Bonham also recalled a former student who had travelled from Peru to see the building for the final time.

The Southwell building was the start of his successful career as an engineer which has seen him work all over the world.

Mr Bonham added: "I'm sure future students will have similar fond memories and just as much success."

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