Queen Mary’s College has applied for planning permission to remove a single storey temporary building, and to construct a new building to accommodate learners with learning difficulties and disabilities.

The planning application has been submitted after the college, in Cliddesden Road, was awarded £496,000 from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to enable support facilities to be extended for young people aged between 16 and 24 with special educational needs, learning difficulties and disabilities.

Fifteen students aged between 16 and 19 are expected to use the planned facility to enable them to study mainstream A-level subjects including maths and science.

Ali Foss, principal of Queen Mary’s College, told The Gazette: “We have a long history of supporting learners on the autistic spectrum. They are often high-performing academically but they need their own space where they can be away from crowds and learn social skills.

“This application has been put together in conjunction with Hampshire County Council and we hope to start building soon.”

Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council executive member for education, said: “This (EFA) funding is good news for the colleges and those students who will benefit.”

He added: “We are working hard to develop opportunities for young people to improve their prospects for entering a competitive job market.”