£8m boost for Suffolk education to create new jobs
PUBLISHED: 17:39 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 20:07 27 March 2019
Education in Suffolk will receive more than £8m to boost innovative projects courtesy of the New Anglia LEP.
The funding is part of a £14.5m initiative boosting skills, innovation and productivity across Norfolk and Suffolk.
The University of Suffolk has been given £6.49m to establish a nationally significant ICT research and training centre at Adastral Park.
The centre will leverage the capabilities of the University of Suffolk, BT and the surrounding tech cluster.
And it is hoped the money will create 520 new students, 145 new apprentices and 36 new jobs.
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Professor Mohammad Dastbaz, deputy vice-chancellor at the university, said: “The funding will allow us the opportunity to form a unique partnership uniting our University with a world leading telecommunications company in BT.
“This partnership will undoubtedly help the region’s ambitions for economic growth and provide a vehicle for developing the high end skills required.”
Suffolk New College also stands to benefit from the funding – which comes from the LEP’s capital growth deal with the government.
The college, in Rope Walk, Ipswich, has been given £1.6m to increase its digital capability and offer courses and for those wishing to progress into higher education and higher-level apprenticeships.
Craig Shimmon, of Suffolk New College, said, “We are delighted with this news that will help us to strengthen our position as one of the top educational facilities in the East.
“Naturally, we would like to thank the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for their ongoing support.
“Thanks to this news, the new facilities that we create will support the local economy in this region by offering more opportunities to those who aspire to work and train in the digital and technology sectors, training a ready-made work force to support this expanding industry.”
Additionally, both Suffolk and Norfolk county councils are being given £440,000 to create a network to enable private, public and educational sector organisations.
Finally in Norfolk, City College Norwich has been awarded £6.09m to build a 2,780m² facility which will host digital technology, engineering and design courses.
Paul Winter, chairman of the New Anglia Skills Board, said: “These projects represent a huge boost for our skills ambitions in Norfolk and Suffolk – not just for the high-skilled workers they’ll produce for our businesses, but also for the direct business collaborations they’ll promote.
“Evidence gathered for our Digital Tech Sector Skills Plan tells us our two counties will need 10,000 new highly skilled workers in the sector by the middle of the next decade.
“But that number quadruples when you include skilled digital jobs serving other sectors.
“These projects will help address that need with leading edge resources, whilst also providing the environment for our next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to thrive.”