DARWEN is set to open its first ever arts college, offering quality education and boosting jobs in the town.

Whitehall councillor and Dance Crazy Theatre School owner Vicky Rothwell said plans were finally coming together after she submitted a planning application to Blackburn with Darwen Council.

The new Darwen Arts Centre College (DAC College) will be situated in the St Barnabas Old School building in Watery Lane.

It will offer full-time training for over-16s who can also gain professional qualifications in dance and other subjects including GCSE English and IT.

Coun Rothwell said: “This is amazing news for the town and I am so excited about it.

“I have my Certificate in Education which means I can teach at the higher education level and college level in my specialist subjects.”

DAC College will replace the current Dance Crazy Theatre School once planning has been approved, but Coun Rothwell said the ‘outlook was positive’.

She said: “We can offer full-time training for over-16s who can gain professional qualifications in dance, drama and teaching.

“We have had interest from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy and with this local support it means the performing arts college will do well.”

The move from the current site in Craiglands will create more space for extra students and there will also be better parking facilities. Once DAC College is up and running, auditions and interviews will be the process for getting a place.

Funding is currently being sought to help establish the new business.

Coun Rothwell said: “It is very exciting time and will of course take time to implement. The possibilities are endless with a venture like this which means that in a few years, children will be able to study at the college when they have left high school.”