The building of a £21 million campus for Wiltshire College in Chippenham will begin in May.

The 9,100 sq m (98,000 sq ft) three-storey building was given the green light by Wiltshire Council earlier this month.

Building work is expected to take about 16 months, with the state-of-the-art facilities set to open to students in September 2015.

Tom Jacques, chairman of Chippenham Vision, a group of organisations wanting to regenerate the town, is delighted.

He said: “It’s very good that regeneration of that part of town is happening at last.

“It keeps students in the town centre and releases some property for commercial development; having businesses and offices by the station is compatible with the aims of the Vision.”

Plans went on display in November for the new campus, designed by Bristol architect AWW Inspired Environments, which will include a range of environmental design features including photovoltaic cells to produce electricity.

It will comprise three wings, with a large glazed atrium connecting all three centrally.

It is geared towards providing industry-standard workshops with realistic working environments. Specialist facilities will include automotive and engineering workshops, hair and beauty salons and TV, recording and art studios.

There will also be conference facilities, a learning resource centre and a sensory room for learners with disabilities.

Ben Allen, vice principal for business development at the college, said: “We are delighted to have got planning permission.”

It is being funded by the Skills Funding Agency, with some coming from the disposal of one hectare of land when existing buildings are demolished.

Most will be knocked down during the summer holidays next year, once the new campus is finished being built alongside.