HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO opens The Isle of Wight College’s new Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine (CECAMM)

Debbie Lavin (Principal of Isle of Wight College) and David Loudon (New Build Project Manager) welcomed the Countess and escorted her on a tour of the building where she met students and apprentices and viewed the world-class facilities including workshops and classrooms providing specialist training in:

  • 3D printing
  • Bench fitting
  • Boat construction and design
  • CNC programming
  • Manual milling and turning
  • Electronics
  • Marine Engineering
  • MIG, MAG and TIG welding
  • Fabrication
  • Marine engine testing and maintenance
  • Measurement: NDT and dimensional control

The new facility offers students a broad experience of engineering skills within a study programme designed to help secure their careers. The focus will be to provide all of the knowledge and skills that any student will need to enter their chosen field and prepare them for work and/or higher study. The CECAMM curriculum has been created in partnership with local industry leaders to ensure that students gain the most relevant up to date industry knowledge and skills. Students have the opportunity to study higher education courses in engineering offered in partnership with the University of Chichester as well as a range of apprenticeships and full-time courses from foundation to advanced. 

The new, £11 million CECAMM Centre is situated at Whippingham Technology Park, East Cowes, Isle of Wight and took four years to plan, design and build. It has been completed largely due to Solent Local Enterprise Partnership money and investment from several Island employers. “They’re investing in the Island, they’ve invested in the college, but most of all they’ve invested in the young people”, said Peter Thompson (IW College’s Assistant Principal)

David Loudon introduced The Countess to Mr Rod Burton and Mr Kevin Barker (architects Pick Everard), Mrs Sarah McCarthy-Fry (GKN Aerospace and Solent Local Enterprise Partnership), Mr Marc Griffin (Solent Local Enterprise Partnership) and Mr Dean Ludlow (Balfour Beatty)

Around 100 guests including dignitaries, councillors and leaders of Isle of Wight industries were in attendance for this celebratory event.

The Countess then signed the first CECAMM visitors book and received a posy of flowers from Carys Morgan year 6 pupil from Hunnyhill Primary School.

David Evans, Managing Director of CECAMM  told the Countess “We will grow and tailor the services we provide to meet local business needs. CECAMM will be an inspiring place for those individuals passionate about engineering, whether a college student, an employee of a local business, a young child interested in Math and Science or a member of the community.  Our main goals are to make life easier for existing Island businesses to get the qualified staff they require, support the establishment of new businesses on the Island and help Island students realise their career ambitions.”


The Countess said she was really impressed with the facility and the benefit it will bring to the island's businesses.

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