College’s £3.5m science and tech centre ready to open

STAFFORD College’s new £3.5m science and technology centre is almost ready to welcome hundreds of new students in September.

The centre, which spans four floors and is based in the old Broadeye building, is designed to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, innovators and creative thinkers.

It contains state-of-the-art features including biology, chemistry, physics and engineering laboratories, IT suites and a Lego® Education Innovation Studio together with general seminar rooms, a learning zone, board room and meeting facilities. Specialist equipment includes 3D and laser printers and a variety of robotics technology.

The reception area is home to NSCG’s Apprenticeship Hub and Employer Vacancy Board, which is open to the general public as well as college students.

The Broadeye building has been given a major overhaul to transform it. Work began in January following a successful bid to Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The LEP provided £2m to support the project with the Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group contributing a further £1.5m.

A significant programme of works have also been carried out across the wider campus. The Riverbank building has a new reception area accessed via Tenterbanks. This building has also seen a significant investment in technology and now has a new open access Apple Mac suite.

The works coincide with the re-launch of new sixth form programmes. It means students can now choose A levels, vocational courses – or a combined vocational and A level pathway.

Other new course provision includes the introduction of full-time, part-time and apprenticeship programmes in hairdressing and alongside the existing beauty salons, the college now has a new industry standard hairdressing salon and the public will soon be able to book appointments for hairdressing or beauty treatments alongside lunch in the college’s award-winning Riverbank restaurant.

Students and staff can now also enjoy their breaks in a new Costa Coffee lounge and food hall.

Karen Dobson, college principal and chief executive of Stafford College, said: “It has been a busy summer as we’ve been working really hard to give our entire campus a complete overhaul in readiness for students joining us in September. Significant works have been undertaken across the campus and students joining us will see some huge improvements.

“We’re especially excited to welcome students who will be studying in our prestigious new Science & Technology Centre. It’s one the best facilities of its type in the region, demonstrating our commitment to giving students the best learning experience possible. We recognise the need to develop a well trained workforce in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths and this new facility will enhance our efforts to recruit students into Stem-disciplines and better prepare them with the latest technology and equipment to enter these fields when they leave the College.”

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