Cash boost to help create new centre

An artist impression of the proposed Science and Technology Centre at Northumberland College.
An artist impression of the proposed Science and Technology Centre at Northumberland College.
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Plans have been unveiled for a new £2.5m centre at Northumberland College’s Ashington campus.

The new science and technology centre is the latest investment at the college following on from £10m earmarked for a new hair and beauty salon, restaurant and kitchen, engineering and construction academies and new student hub.

New workshops for agriculture and arboriculture, a learning resource centre and classroom block at Kirkley Hall have also been developed.

Principal and chief executive, Marcus Clinton said: “We have received this funding from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and this is fantastic news because it enables the college to invest in an area where there are skills gaps.

“The investment will benefit students and local employers as we train the next generation of skilled workers.

“There are skills shortages within science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) so we will be adding new courses that are designed with feedback from employers. Covering fabrication, processing, IT and digital, robotics and hydraulics, this training will benefit our students and the local economy.”

Architects Norr have been selected and contractors will be appointed soon with a view to completing the project in time for the 2016/17 academic year.

Andrew Hodgson, chairman of the North East LEP, said: “Our focus continues to be on creating more and better jobs, and ensuring we have a skilled workforce to fill these.”

“Forging close link with education is key to this and this latest investment will help ensure we have a pipeline of talent ready and waiting.”

The new centre will include specialist science and technology workshops with dedicated facilities that will include fab labs where budding product designers and entrepreneurs can access the latest in digital fabrication equipment for prototyping.

To find out more about courses at the college visit www.northumberland.ac.uk