A major investment in state-of-the-art industry facilities, for the booming aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors, has been unveiled at City of Bristol College.
The development of a £4million extension to the College’s Advanced Engineering Centre, funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, will reinforce the West of England’s reputation for hi-tech innovation and as a leading provider of skilled labour in these high growth industries.
At a topping out ceremony held at the centre in Parkway, the building was officially handed over by David Snell, Operations Director at contractors, Kier Western and Wales to Lee Probert, Chief Executive and Principal of City of Bristol College. The event was also attended by applicants who will soon be making use of the new look facility when it opens for business in October 2017.
Probert said: “The region is renowned globally for its aerospace and engineering innovation, which acts as a magnet for inward investment. The Advanced Engineering Centre is designed to support the growth of the regional economy through providing work ready students in these key sectors. By taking students from the classroom to the workshop, it forms part of our drive to create ‘passports to jobs’ for our students.”
Adam Powell, Director of Skills at West of England Combined Authority/Local Enterprise Partnership, which is the primary funder of the extension, added: “Nationally our region is the largest aerospace cluster in the country and we have some 1,500 manufacturing enterprises. The expanded facility at the College will support our local strengths in these sectors by providing a future talent pool for the region.”
The extension will include a number of specialist labs to support skills development in the design and maintenance of aircraft and engineering systems. It will also include state-of-the-art computer aided design and 3d printing equipment to support skills development in design and prototyping. In addition, there will be a dedicated aeronautical structures lab for Airbus, one of 150 plus employers who are users of the facility. There are currently around 250 apprentices on site and a further 60 will come through the doors of the new building over the next three years.