The first phase of a 6 million building project to upgrade Great Yarmouth College campus and provide new facilities to make its students ready for work was opened on yesterday by Nick Boles, Minister of State for Skills and Equality.
Mr Boles, who also met local employers at the College said: The Government is helping to create specialist facilities that will ensure thousands of students get the best possible learning experience and inspire them to reach their potential, while addressing local skills shortages.
Great Yarmouth Colleges vision is to prepare young people for work and to be responsive to the needs of local employers. Creating modern and inviting learning environments help to raise aspirations, encourage learning and ultimately to develop the skills for Great Yarmouths future. I am delighted to open the Learning Street at Great Yarmouth College, which is one of the first projects to be completed as part of the Governments national College Capital Investment Fund, said Mr Boles. Brandon has worked hard lobbying the Government to secure the funding for this and I am very pleased to have been able to formally open such an impressive end result.
The Learning Street is the name given to the former College Learning and Resource Centre which was converted into 14 classrooms and three staffrooms over the summer in a record time of less than 4 months. The Learning Street is an inviting and modern space which promotes learning and teaching and befits the Colleges Ofsted Good grade. All the new classrooms are equipped with the latest technology and there are break-out spaces for independent study and smaller rooms for one-to-one discussions with tutors.
The Learning Street, which cost 1.5m to complete, is only the first stage of a larger 6m capital refurbishment programme to bring the Colleges original 50-year old building up to first-class standards. With the Learning Street completed, works have already started on the next stage, which will be ready for the start of the academic year in September 2015.
The overall refurbishment project is being funded by 5.5m from the Government with a College contribution of more than 600,000. It will transform the campus and enable
it to fulfil its mission to raise aspirations and equip its young people with the right skills to start careers across all employment sectors.
The refurbished second stage will house a new glass-fronted Community Learning Resources Centre (CLRC), overlooking a landscaped courtyard. There will also be modernised teaching rooms, self-study facilities as well as a new English and Maths centre with resources for individuals and groups.
I was very pleased to welcome the Minister to Great Yarmouth College to see the fantastic work that has been done with funds from Central Government. One of the greatest challenges facing Great Yarmouth is the skills gap, and partnerships like this are one of the best ways of tackling it. The Government has made great steps in providing the jobs and growth we need in the area. I will continue to work with ministers and colleges to improve the education services, ensuring they provide the skills necessary to secure long-term employment.