A construction and automotive skills facility at Stamford College is to be extended thanks to a £2.1 million grant from the Getting Building Fund.

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has confirmed funding of £2.129 million for the project, which will extend the Construction and Automotive Skills Centre at the college. 

The extension is a response to increased demand for skilled workers in the construction and engineering sectors and a substantial growth in applications from students for courses in these areas. 

“We’re pleased to be able to fund this project, which will create opportunities for future students, meet the needs of local employers, address local and regional skills gaps and directly contribute to the local, regional and national economies,” said Sarah-Louise Fairburn, Deputy Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership. 

“Extending and upgrading the Construction and Automotive Skills Centre will enable the department to offer an innovative and employer-focused curriculum and accommodate forecast demand.” 

The centre currently houses plumbing, carpentry, brickwork, electrical and automotive students and apprentices. 

The proposed £2.68m extension will broaden the range of courses on offer to include skills such as painting, decorating and plastering and will extend the levels offered from trade to technical up to Level 6. 

Janet Meenaghan, Principal of Stamford College, said: “Stamford College is delighted to work in partnership with the Greater Lincolnshire LEP on our construction centre extension project.   

“This major building programme at the college’s Drift Road campus will create an additional 400 square metres of teaching and learning space for students and apprentices. The project will also enable the college to create modern, flexible workspaces which reflect the rapid evolution of the construction industry through automation, carbon reduction and the increasing use of prefabrication.   

“Over the last three years Stamford College has seen a huge growth in student numbers alongside an increased demand for skilled and appropriately qualified workers in all areas of the construction industry. Through the LEP’s Skills Capital Investment Programme, which provided a £2.14m capital contribution towards the project, the college will support Greater Lincolnshire’s response to priority sector skills needs and contribute to the ongoing economic growth of our region over the next decade.” 

Gareth Davies, MP for Grantham and Stamford, said: “I am delighted to see this latest new investment in Stamford College. I have supported this bid from the start and am delighted to see the college secure funding from the LEP. 

“Stamford College is an incredibly important institution in our town, a point I have highlighted in the House of Commons on several occasions and have called for increased funding. 

“The Government’s levelling up agenda is built around further education and skills, none of which is more important than construction. This £2.1 million is a commitment to the young people of Stamford and an investment in future jobs which will enhance the technical expertise of the area for years to come.” 

The Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Councillor Kelham Cooke, said: “This is tremendous news for Stamford College and its students. The grant represents a major investment that will greatly enhance the already impressive learning facilities at the college. 

“The extension will provide even more opportunities in Stamford and the wider South Kesteven for students to learn the kind of practical skills that are always in demand and will lead to successful and rewarding careers.”