First Minister Alex Salmond yesterday announced funding for construction of the new campus, with work expected to begin on site in August 2013.
Other phases of development on the Diageo site in the town centre are expected to follow the new college project, and to include a mix of business and residential use on the 30-acre site.
The First Minister said: “Diageo’s proposal to gift its Kilmarnock site to the College has been helpful in crystallising its plans for the future, allowing the College to consolidate its activities on a single, accessible, town centre location.
“The Scottish Government is committed to our innovative and creative colleges, which is why we are investing over £2bn in the sector during the current spending review period, until 2015.”
Fiona Lees, chief executive of East Ayrshire Council added: “A new £50m college and wider learning campus for 5,500 students in the heart of the Town, is fantastic news for Kilmarnock.
Mark Batho, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Today is another important step forward in providing modern, well-designed and inspired new campuses for the next generation of learners.
“This adds to a portfolio of Funding Council investments that has seen over £500m spent since 2000 with new build or major improvements in estates at 23 colleges.”