Colchester Institute has officially launched its all-new Braintree campus, now that the final building – The Learning and Technology Centre – is complete. An invitation-only event was held for stakeholders to tour the new facilities and find out more about the College’s recent developments and future plans.
Not only did guests have the chance to tour the new building, they also toured the completed campus, which boasts high-quality workshops, studios, learning spaces and computer suites. Media students showed guests how it’s done, giving demonstrations on how to use their new VFX (Visual Effects) headsets and sophisticated cameras as well as filming them in the Media Lab, which is home to an impressive industry-standard TV studio.
It’s an exciting time at the Braintree campus, with £12.5m having been invested in the campus over the last three years, which was supported by grants from South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and Essex County Council. The vibrant and high-quality build complements the high-tech STEM Innovation Centre that was opened in June 2017 and has been training the next generation of Engineers and Construction workers, specifically focusing on areas that have been highlighted as skills shortage areas in the locality. This building has also been further enhanced since its launch, with the addition of a Student Hub providing resources and new study spaces for students in Electrical Installations, Computing, Childcare and Beauty Therapy.
The former music block was also completely renovated to form an innovative cafe, providing a modern dining and social space for students.
The Learning and Technology Centre was opened with a ribbon cutting. Stuart Cadman, Managing Director at Cadman Construction Ltd, cut the ribbon with Principal and Chief Executive of Colchester Institute, Alison Andreas.
Those in attendance included the SELEP and Essex County Council, who helped to fund the delivery of the building.
Minister for Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said:
“We are committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and ensuring every community has the support and investment it needs to grow and flourish.
“This is a great project, supported by a £5m investment from the Local Growth Fund, will help up to 800 people get the skills they need to secure great jobs in the manufacturing, construction and health sectors over the next three years.
“Levelling up is about creating opportunity and boosting prosperity, and this project shows it in action.”
SELEP Chair, Christian Brodie said:
“The fact that this centre will support close to 800 new learners – including apprenticeships – within its first three years makes it an outstanding asset to both Essex and the SELEP area as a whole. The new Learning and Technology Centre will strengthen the South East particularly among the engineering and manufacturing businesses operating in the area, by helping to shape learners who are skilled and eager to go into relevant jobs after education.
“The new Learning and Technology Centre is an excellent example of how SELEP bridges the gap between education and employers. We are delighted to have contributed funding – alongside Colchester Institute and Essex County Council – for a project that will serve the area for years to come by contributing to our Skills Strategy and creating a lasting and meaningful link between Further Education and business.”
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Skills and Education, said:
“Essex County Council wants to ensure all Essex residents can access good jobs and an excellent education, regardless of their background. We want to help residents to prosper by increasing their skills. Our investment in the Braintree Campus of Colchester Institute is a clear route to achieving these aims. Personally, I’ll be very pleased to see realised all the hard work that has gone into planning this new campus, creating a real community asset for many years into the future.”
Those interested in touring the new campus can visit at the College’s next Braintree Open Event on Thursday 23rd April 2020, 5pm-7pm. Guests are advised to book online at colchester.ac.uk/events.