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Colchester Institute’s new £5m Learning and Technology Centre at Braintree

Colchester Institute has celebrated the commencement of a new £5m build at its Braintree campus with a ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday 28th November 2018. Invited guests donned their Hi Vis and hard hats in order to break ground on the new construction.

New Learning and Technology Centre

The event marked the inaugural work for a new Learning and Technology Centre, which aims to provide students with a high-quality learning experience using industry-standard equipment.

A state-of-the-art IT and Digital Media Centre will be housed inside the new construction alongside other teaching areas, workshops and suites. With consumer spend predicted to drive growth in the IT and Digital sector, the centre will help the demand for skilled workforce highlighted by employers in the region.

Alison Andreas, Principal and Chief Executive, Colchester Institute

But this is not the only area that will benefit from the new facilities; students in Business, Health and Care, Public Services and all Construction and Technology disciplines will all enjoy the opportunity

STEM Innovation Centre

The Learning and Technology Centre will complement the existing STEM Innovation Centre, which since opening in June 2017 has provided students and apprentices with the tools to learn and be skilled to industry standard.

Ground Breaking Event marks start of new build

Invited guests included representatives from South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and Essex County Council, who have supported the project through capital grants, and representatives from Braintree District Council – including Braintree’s Education and Skills Board.

Chris Brodie, Chair of SELEP said “This is one of 33 skills projects across the South East, supported by nearly £40 million investment. We are proud to be investing in these new facilities in partnership with Essex County Council and this is a great example of industry and education working together to great effect.

This is a big step in delivering against our new skills strategy; an example of our strong commitment to skills and recognition of the fundamental role it plays in achieving economic and jobs growth. We look forward to seeing the completed build next year, supporting Colchester Institute in the coming years and seeing the hundreds of apprenticeships and qualifications being delivered.”

Colchester Institute’s Principal and Chief Executive, Alison Andreas is looking forward to seeing the project come to life: “We have marked today, another significant milestone in our exciting Braintree campus masterplan.  This time next year, our campus will be fully modernised, with every building boasting state of the art learning spaces and industry standard facilities.

Here, young people and adults will gain the skills and knowledge that will secure their future job prospects, and supply local employers with the skills their businesses need today and into the future.  This is such a far cry from the campus we inherited in 2010, and we’re hugely grateful to the SE LEP and Essex County Council for their generous support for this significant re-development programme”.

Cllr Mohindra, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Essex County Council said “The addition of this new Learning and Technology Centre to Colchester Institute’s STEM Innovation centre in Braintree will enhance the skills ecosystem in Essex.  This facility will help to make our county even more agile and responsive to the labour market as well as helping our residents to prosper now and in the future.”

Background

In December 2017, SELEP’s Accountability Board approved £5 million LGF towards a total project of £10 million to Colchester Institute. £2.5 million of the award was to enable delivery of the long-term vision for the creation of a STEM Innovation Campus at Braintree through the construction of the new Learning and Technology Centre, including facilities for sustainable technologies, science, digital and IT. Match funding for this project was provided by Essex County Council.

The award also enabled the creation of a Centre of Excellence in Health and Care in Colchester. The original allocation was for the Braintree project only so the overall project has greater impact, geographical reach and can respond to employer demand.  The centre will respond to skills shortages in STEM sectors, prevalent in the Braintree and surrounding area which has a strong engineering and manufacturing base.

For the Braintree project, approval was subject to full planning permission which has now been achieved and therefore the breaking ground can take place.

Local Growth Fund – £570m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock

In total the SELEP Growth Deal with Government has brought nearly £600m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock and over the lifetime of the Deal (2015-2021) we aim to deliver 78,000 jobs and 29,000 homes.

The deal and brings new responsibilities and flexibilities and is set to attract a further £960 million extra investment into the South East over the five years.

Find out more here