New West Suffolk College STEM centre to open in September
PUBLISHED: 10:40 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:40 02 May 2019
Construction has begun on an £8million project to create a new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) centre in Bury St Edmunds.
The new West Suffolk College campus, its third in total, will be based at the former Vitec site on Western Way and will open in September.
The project is at the heart of the college's plans to create an “education triangle” – which also includes construction of the Abbeygate Sixth Form in the grounds of King Edward VI School opposite.
The 5.5-acre site redevelopment has been made possible through investment from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), who have invested £7m through the Growth Deal Programme.
The newly-formed West Suffolk Council has also been involved in driving the development forward.
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Chris Dashper, head of programmes of New Anglia LEP, said: “We're delighted that the building works are starting.
“It will be a great asset for the area creating local jobs and for Suffolk and Norfolk employers as it will attract talented students who want to move into energy, engineering and advanced manufacturing.
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“For example, our clean energy sector is growing and with it comes greater engineering and manufacturing skills demand. “The STEM Innovation Campus will enable West Suffolk College to extend its course portfolio and work with more employers to train hundreds of people every year to meet future workforce demand.
“It is an exciting prospect to think that in a few years' time, the students who were trained here could be inventing ground-breaking new technology.”
Ian Gallin, chief executive of West Suffolk Council, said: “West Suffolk Council is focused on delivering growth that benefits our local communities. “Working in partnership with local businesses and the education sector is vital to the future success of the west Suffolk area.
“The STEM centre is an important part of our work around economic growth and skills development in west Suffolk.
“It will mean that young people can be encouraged to strive for highly skilled, well paid jobs being created here in west Suffolk so we are delighted that work on the site is now underway.”
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Dr Nikos Savvas, chief executive for West Suffolk College, said: “West Suffolk College was first established in 1958 to support vital industries such as engineering and technology across our eastern region, supplying them with the highly skilled professionals to grow their businesses.
“Our new innovation campus will continue this legacy and will provide first class science, engineering and digital education and training for the young people of this region, in state-of-the-art facilities.
“We will develop the next generations of highly-skilled professionals in focused collaboration with some of the biggest names in industry, including global powerhouses such as ARM, Bosch Rexroth and BT, who will offer unrivalled industry opportunities to our students.”
More information can be found at stem.wsc.ac.uk
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