New LEP-funded education centre formally opens at New College Stamford

New College Stamford has opened a new Digital Skills Centre as part of its latest cutting-edge refurbishment after it received funding from the Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s Growth Deal.

The £1 million state-of-the-art facility, supported by the Midlands Engine as well as the LEP, has been built to replicate a professional, working agency environment and is kitted out with the latest smart technology including cyber security, data modelling programming and virtual simulation software.

Local employers, councillors and governors joined college staff and students to formally open the new centre on 29th January 2019. To mark the occasion, a ribbon was cut by Allison Sunley, the Chair of the college’s Board of Governors.

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, said: “We are committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Midlands Engine and building a country that works for everyone.”

“As part of a wider £7.3 million investment from the Local Growth Fund in skills in the Greater Lincolnshire area; the allocation of £439,000 at New College Stamford will help fund the development of the college’s computing and network infrastructure. It will support learners to develop much needed digital skills across a range of priority sectors in the Greater Lincolnshire area.”

Ursula Lidbetter MBE, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “The LEP is delighted to be supporting digital skills development for Greater Lincolnshire. This new centre underpins all of the priorities identified in the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan, not least because of increasing automation and the endemic use of digital data within all sectors of business. 

“The recent refurbishment and upgrade of the college’s computer learning facilities will enhance the delivery of digital skills training and education. It will also support the further development of cyber security, mobile technologies, green IT and cloud computing, all of which have been identified by UKCES as drivers for high-level skills needs within the digital sector.”

The investment has further secured the college as a key stakeholder in growing and diversifying the skill set of its local and regional employees, including both students entering the workplace, and existing employers keen to upskill and future proof their workforce.

IT and business students studying at the college have already been lucky enough to access the centre, which opened in September, but the official opening marks the publication of the training opportunities also available to businesses in the form of CISCO, Microsoft and digital apprenticeship courses.

Janet Meenaghan Principal and CEO at New College Stamford added: “We are delighted to officially open our latest renovation in a long list of developments over the past few years. Amongst them all, the Digital Skills Centre is the best example of our commitment to harness potential and ensure our students, local employers and community are future-proofed to support the ever-growing digital skills sector.”