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New centre will be a “showpiece of 21st century technology”

West Cheshire College has revealed exciting plans for a new state-of-the-art technology centre offering numerous vocational and business subjects for 14-19 year olds.

Subjects on offer will include manufacturing, logistics, construction, engineering and computing, in a bid to meet the skills demands in Chester.

Opportunities for start-up businesses will also be supported and specialist management training such as business improvement techniques, spin off technologies, e-commerce and entrepreneurialism will be offered at the current Handbridge site.

The College Board of Governors” decision was endorsed by the Strategic Task Group, set up by the Learning and Skills Council following previous failed attempts to secure a suitable city centre site, quashing fears about the college leaving Chester for the Ellesmere Port campus.

College Principal Sara Mogel said: “This is to be a showpiece of 21st century technology and communication. It will build on the college’s superb record of achievement and will be designed to meet the needs and aspirations of a new generation of learners”.

“I hope also we”ll be able to work with City and County Council partners to review how we can improve access for students of all ages to this new resources.”

No local school has such appropriate vocational facilities and the new centre will also be delivering core services alongside learning resource centres, catering and social spaces and extra support services for those who need them.

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Cllr Paul Roberts, Leader of Chester City Council, also gave his seal of approval: “Clearly it is very important that we retain education and training opportunities locally for the hospitality industry and within the technologies that are so crucial for Chester’s future economic success”.

“I am very confident that the college’s plans will deliver this, without any adverse impact on local residents.”

Opposition Leader Cllr Margaret Parker said: “The future plans for the college are very much welcomed. I am sure the people of Chester will be very supportive of the college in bringing to the forefront the learning and skills needs of the city’s 14-19 year olds.”

A college spokesman said the cost of the centre is yet to be discussed as the proposals were only recently unveiled.

Recently recognised as one of the top training providers in the country by government watchdog, the Adult Learning Inspectorate, the college has an outstanding record of achievement in work-based learning with success rates often exceeding those nationally.

Malaka Chowdhury.

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