First look at £12.5m new ‘campus for the future’

Working in the STEM centre at Colchester Institute's high-tech Braintree Campus. Picture: SUZANNE BU

Working in the STEM centre at Colchester Institute's high-tech Braintree Campus. Picture: SUZANNE BUSH - Credit: Archant

Colchester Institute’s Braintree campus has moved into a new era with a new high-tech “campus for the future”.

Engineering student Rachel Rolfe at the new high-tech Colchester Institute Braintree Campus. Picture

Engineering student Rachel Rolfe at the new high-tech Colchester Institute Braintree Campus. Picture: SUZANNE BUSH - Credit: Archant

The institute showed off the new Learning and Technology Centre which is set to be completed next month.

The project has already seen the College's STEM Innovation Centre and a modern riverside refectory built and £12.5m has been invested over the past three years.

The developments have been supported with investment from Essex County Council and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

The changes come as a result of the significant skills shortages that employers are experiencing in the district. The college has recognised the need for skilled workers in a range of technological, digital and business related sectors. Not only does this benefit local employers but students will have increased employment opportunities once finishing their study programme or apprenticeship.

The new Riverside Refectory at the Colchester Institute Braintree Campus. Picture: SUZANNE BUSH

The new Riverside Refectory at the Colchester Institute Braintree Campus. Picture: SUZANNE BUSH - Credit: Archant


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Assistant principal for Braintree Campus and STEM, Adam Ward's vision for this developing campus is to ensure that committed and aspirational students will be work ready and able to progress into careers.

He said: "Such is the planned economic growth for the district, the new campus' remit is to have a very clear focus on preparing learners of all ages for work through rapid development of skills, knowledge and crucial behaviours that are in high demand by employers."

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The STEM Innovation Centre has already been a hub for training students of all ages who are on study programmes, apprenticeships and even short or evening courses.

Aspiring engineer Rachel Rolfe travels from Romford to attend the Braintree campus: "I chose to come to Braintree campus because it is the best college for Engineering. I like the variety of practical and theory, the tutors are helpful and it's a great environment."

Business students in the new high-tech Braintree Campus of Colchester Institute. Picture: SUZANNE BU

Business students in the new high-tech Braintree Campus of Colchester Institute. Picture: SUZANNE BUSH - Credit: Archant

The Learning and Technology Centre is focused on IT and digital media, with consumer spend predicted to drive growth in those sectors. Hi-tech teaching areas, workshops and computer suites as well as IT and Digital Media equipment will be accessible to students.

The centre will also be home to students on courses in business, early years and childhood studies, and a range of construction crafts.

Students and the publc are getting the chance to see the new high-tech Braintree Campus of Colcheste

Students and the publc are getting the chance to see the new high-tech Braintree Campus of Colchester Institute. Student Abigal Weatherley at the student open event. Picture: SUZANNE BUSH - Credit: Archant

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