Minister learns of college expansion

Communities Minister Brandon Lewis visits the new engineering block at Northumberland College main Campus.'REF 2901151068
Communities Minister Brandon Lewis visits the new engineering block at Northumberland College main Campus.'REF 2901151068

A government minister has visited the county’s college to learn how a proposed expansion will increase skills opportunities for youngsters.

On a visit to Ashington, Communities Minister Brandon Lewis heard about plans to upgrade facilities at Northumberland College to improve skills levels and support economic growth in key sectors such as advanced manufacturing, renewables and ICT.

Meanwhile the North East Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the government which will see an extra £40.6m invested in the region’s economy between 2016 and 2021.

And its additional proposed projects include upgrading the facilities at Northumberland College to support economic growth.

Mr Lewis met the principal Marcus Clinton and motor mechanic students as part of his visit.

He said: “Boosting local business opportunities across the country is a key part of our long term economic plan and the £41m funding the government announced will make a real difference to peoples’ lives, creating 5,000 jobs and transforming the local economy.

“It means that over the next six years this deal could lead to a further £130m being injected into the local economy, and I was delighted to see how this money will benefit the community.”

The government is also committed in principle to support the development of Dun Cow Quay in Blyth through discounted Public Works Loan Board borrowing.