Furness College is celebrating the awarding of a £1.2m Local Growth Fund grant towards a new Advanced Manufacturing Centre on the college site.
The £3.4m project will see the college add its own contribution and invest further in the latest technologies to ensure that young people and employers in the area are able to access the skills that they need for the jobs of the future. The centre will also house the rapidly expanding engineering and advanced manufacturing research capability at the college, alongside rapid prototyping and high voltage test laboratories.
In response to the news Anne Attwood, Principal and Chief Executive at Furness College said “We hope that this announcement will allow us to continue and extend our partnerships with employers and continue to enhance the opportunities for local people to access skills at the highest level.2.”
The new centre will allow the college to recruit up to 1150 apprentices in engineering and advanced manufacturing at any one time. This seems like a large number but employers including BAE Systems, Siemens, Kimberly-Clark, GSK and Centrica have given the college a clear indication of their plans for growth over the next five years.
The college is now awaiting the result of an additional bid to secure funding to increase capacity on Higher Education programmes in Engineering to 450 from the HEFCE Catalyst Fund.
The college currently offers courses up to masters degree level in engineering but demand is expected to grow significantly as employers gear up to deliver on projects including Successor submarines, expansion at Siemens in Ulverston and the new biopharm plant at GSK.