PHASE two of Wiltshire College's £24 million development has now been launched.

The Salisbury campus refurbishment, which was first announced in February 2017, has now reached its second stage of development, meaning the central building will be demolished and replaced.

The beginning of phase two was officially launched today with a tour of the newest laboratories and science technology available at the college, followed by MP John Glen and chairman of Visit Wiltshire, Peter Wragg, hypothetically knocking down the wall between the current site and where the new build will be, with hammers and safety goggles at the ready.

Wiltshire College was granted University Centre status in August 2018, and alongside the completion of phase two will be offering university-level courses in life sciences and engineering.

Students will also be able to study level-three courses at the college, that can later feed into foundation degrees and apprenticeships tied to local jobs.

After the ceremony Mr Glen described the launch of phase two as an "important milestone", adding: "I'm looking forward to seeing the practical progress and transformation, as this new building is going to help young people gain new training and qualifications that will establish and provide the right skills for the local economy."

Amanda Burnside, Wiltshire College principle, added: "This is an exciting day, we're another step closer to our new three-storey building, with lots of new training facilities. From students, to staff and the people of Salisbury - everyone wins."

This project is part of a multimillion pound investment secured by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) and its growth deal with central government, and the development will enable around 1,000 more students to attend the campus.

Since the project began, work has been done on recladding exterior walls that are remaining as part of the project, along with internal conversion work.

Mark Lello, vice chairman of Wiltshire College, said: "This is a tremendous development and the last exciting piece of the jigsaw which will bring this campus up to date and will be a huge achievement for Salisbury.

"We've already got a great team and we'll soon have a great campus as well, we're one step closer to that dream today."

The demolition of the central building will begin next month and the construction work will begin in September, aiming to be complete by September 2020.