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Construction work begins on STEM campus




Construction work for a brand new college STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) campus is under way.

The 5.5 acre site redevelopment and £8 million project will be West Suffolk College’s third site.

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have invested £7 million through the Growth Deal Programme, with other funding coming from key businesses and West Suffolk Council.

Gary Jefferson, West Suffolk College Executive Director for Engineering and Technology, Ian Gallin, Chief Executive of West Suffolk Council, Dr Nikos Savvas, Chris Dashpar, head of programmes of New Anglia LEP, Richard Bridgman, Owner of Warren Services and West Suffolk College students. Picture by Mark Westley.
Gary Jefferson, West Suffolk College Executive Director for Engineering and Technology, Ian Gallin, Chief Executive of West Suffolk Council, Dr Nikos Savvas, Chris Dashpar, head of programmes of New Anglia LEP, Richard Bridgman, Owner of Warren Services and West Suffolk College students. Picture by Mark Westley.

It will be based at the former global manufacturing Vitec Video Com premises on Western Way in Bury and is set to open in September.

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 Norfolk and Suffolk employers as it will attract talented students who want to move into energy, engineering and advanced manufacturing.

"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."

The project is at the heart of the college's visionary plans to create an 'education triangle', which also includes the build of Abbeygate Sixth Form College, in the grounds of the Kind Edwards VI School, which is set to open in September 2020.

Dr Nikos Savvas, chief executive of West Suffolk College, said: "West Suffok 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 for students."

For more information go to stem.wsc.ac.uk



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