A SIDCUP college is set to transform the derelict Lamorbey Swimming Baths after snapping up the site at auction.

Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, in Burnt Oak Lane, bought the 0.38-acre Bexley Council owned site, in Station Road, for £750,000.

It hopes to gain planning permission to build student accommodation and an amenities centre.

Principal and chief executive of the college, Professor Michael Earley, said: "We have been in discussions with the London Borough of Bexley for over two years about how the college could acquire and develop this strategically important site to enhance the work that the college does with its students.

"With other developments underway on Sidcup High Street and on Station Road, we feel this is an opportune time to extend the resources of the college and demonstrate our commitment to the rejuvenation of Sidcup."

The rear of the building was formerly Lamorbey Swimming Baths, which was built around 1964 on the site of a former cinema.

It was demolished in 2008 after a new pool and leisure centre opened in nearby Hurst Road.

The frontage of the cinema remains at the site, dating back to 1934.

Bexley Council's cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, Councillor Linda Bailey, said: "This prestigious College has been connected to Bexley borough for 60 years and has been a wonderful local asset, attracting students here from all over the world.

"By purchasing the former baths site, the College has confirmed that it sees its long term future in Sidcup. This is great news for the town, which is currently benefiting from major investment to boost the local community and trade."

The college, which was founded 60 years ago, offers 16 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in various aspects of performance and technical theatre.

Graduates have included Gary Oldman, who was recently nominated for the best actor Academy Award.