College’s new STEM academy will be a ‘beacon of excellence’

Proposed view of West Suffolk College's STEM academy from Western Way

West Suffolk College has submitted a planning application to build a multi-million pound engineering and technology academy in Bury St Edmunds.

The college wants to invest £8.5 million, with support from the New Anglia LEP, in an Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to expand its students’ education.

The interior and exterior of the existing William Vinten Building on Western Way, which is owned by the college and currently used by Vitec, will be remodelled to include high quality business and enterprise facilities as well as seminar rooms, support spaces and student areas.

Gary Jefferson, executive director of engineering and technology at West Suffolk College, said: “Our exciting new STEM centre will be a major step forward in this Year of Engineering as it will be training future engineers.

“At the STEM centre we will provide technical training in engineering, science and digital technology at Level 3 plus undergraduate education particularly at technical levels 4 and 5 as well as training for primary school teachers.

“It will be a national beacon of excellence in the eastern region offering fantastic learning opportunities in engineering, science and the digital technology world and providing high value qualifications.”

The plans have been submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which must reach a decision by May 8. If approved, work on the building is expected to start in May 2018, with a view to opening to students in September 2019.

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