£2.5m investment for Northumberland College

£2.5m investment for Northumberland College

Northumberland College has received a £2.5m investment to create a new science and technology centre at its Ashington campus.

This latest investment follows £10m injected across all campuses to see a new hair and beauty salon, restaurant and kitchen, engineering and construction academies and new student hub at Ashington.

New workshops for agriculture and arboriculture, a learning resource centre and a 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.”

Architects, Norr, have been selected and contractors will be appointed soon with a view to completing the project in time for the 201617 academic year.

Marcus said: “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.”

Andrew Hodgson, chair 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 including fab labs where budding product designers and entrepreneurs can access the latest in digital fabrication equipment for prototyping.