An engineering and construction skills facility at Grantham College is to be upgraded thanks to a grant of £1.5 million from the Getting Building Fund.

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has confirmed funding of £1,597,578 for the project, which will refurbish existing engineering spaces and provide new state-of-the-art, industry standard equipment.

Once completed, the new integrated learning space will be branded as the Grantham College Energy Centre.

Existing classrooms and staff rooms will be repurposed as a cross-disciplinary workshop zone and a suite of digitally equipped theory-led teaching spaces.

Engineering and construction subjects are currently taught separately in different department buildings; the proposed energy centre building would therefore offer a space for students to unite both educationally and socially.

The upgrade comes as a direct response to increased demand for skilled workers within the engineering and construction sectors.

As part of the £2.46 million project, the college will buy engineering and construction training machinery in order to offer 25 new courses and attract approximately 422 more learners to in-demand subject areas such as environmental technologies, electronic engineering, and domestic heating.

Paul Deane, Principal and CEO of Grantham College, said: “I am delighted that Grantham College has secured funding to develop a new, state-of-the-art, efficient Energy Centre with modern resources and equipment which will enable us to further broaden our curriculum to meet the evolving needs of local people and local employers.

“We will be able to offer construction and engineering-based provision around sustainability, low carbon and new efficient, environmental technologies to support current and future jobs and skills needs.”

He added: “We are confident our new Energy Centre and new innovative courses will play an integral part in upskilling local people, fulfilling employer demand and supporting Grantham's growth point status and COVID recovery.”

Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “We’re delighted to be able to contribute to the new Grantham College Energy Centre, which will offer young people fresh educational and employment opportunities while simultaneously addressing local and regional skills gaps.

“Upgrading the current college centre, alongside provision of state-of-the-art, industry standard equipment, will enable the department to offer a relevant and employer-focused standard of education which provides long-term economic stability both regionally and nationally.

“Engineering and construction sectors are essential to the growth of the UK economy. This project will provide a much-needed local skills bank in these priority sectors and will have a significant impact by generating jobs for hard-to-fill occupational roles.”