From education to employment



Weston College celebrated the attendance of Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal who visited its state-of-the-art Health and Active Living Skills Centre at Loxton Campus on Thursday, March 30th, 2023. 

HRH The Princess Royal was greeted by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Mr. Mohammed Saddiq and joined Weston College’s Principal and Chief Executive, Sir Paul Phillips CBE on a tour of the impressive facilities.

The visit included a demonstration of an inclusive sports session with Special Education Needs learners, and the College’s Football Academy students’ strength and conditioning class. The tour also offered an opportunity to meet groups of Health and Social Care learners who were taking part in a nutrition and food science session, plus a chance to meet Apprenticeship students showcasing a range of medical scenarios on medical mannequins. The students explained to HRH The Princess Royal that the medical mannequins helped them to practice and improve their skills before working with real patients, so preparing them to be competent and confident healthcare professionals.

During the visit, The Princess Royal also met key members of the College leadership team and the Chair of Governors, Andrew Leighton-Price, as well as local dignitaries including Chair, North Somerset Council, Councillor Karin Haverson, Mayor, Weston-super-Mare, Councillor Sonia Russe and Member of Parliament for Weston-super-Mare, Mr. John Penrose.

Weston College’s Health and Active Living Skills Centre is a multi-million flagship facility which is inspiring and educating new generations of students and enabling the upskilling of people already in the healthcare and sport industries.

The Centre brings together the College’s health and social care, sports therapy, and active living courses into one facility, which is benefiting students, businesses, and the wider community. It features a state-of-the-art training hospital ward, science laboratories, a full size 3G pitch, a full-size rugby pitch, a multi-gym, and a sports hall.

The event concluded with The Princess Royal unveiling a plaque to officially open the Weston College Health and Active Living Skills Centre, and it is hoped that the Centre will continue to thrive and support learners, businesses, and the community for many years to come.

HRH The Princess Royal with Sir Paul Phillips at Health and Active Living  Skills Centre with students

Commenting on the visit Sir Paul Phillips CBE, said:

“I feel both honoured and privileged to welcome and share this impressive development with The Princess Royal; this is her fourth visit to the College, The Princess Royal opened Loxton Campus in 2008, South West Skills Campus in 2018, and then the redevelopment of the Winter Gardens in 2021.

I am very proud to see where the Weston College Group is today, and how we continue to contribute to the regeneration of Weston-super-Mare through the creation of inspiring facilities for both leaners and the community.

We have worked with key business partners to ensure that the Health and Active Living Skills Centre is tackling the current skills shortage in the sector and address the longer-term issues that affect our health service and the health of the local population.

The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority contributed £5.4 million towards the project.

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