Multi-million Pound Bid Success for New Institute of Technology for the South West

12 April 2019 | College News

City College Plymouth celebrates multi-million pound collaborative bid success for new Institute of Technology for the South West.

The Secretary of State has announced that a multi-million pound bid to revolutionise digital, engineering and manufacturing technology education across the South West has been successful. Twelve successful applicants will receive a share of £170 million, awarded to establish a network of Institutes of Technology across the country.

The new Institute of Technology will establish a range of new buildings and facilities across the region. The Institutes will be unique collaborations between universities, further education colleges, and leading employers. They will specialise in delivering quality higher level technical training and provide employers with the skilled workforce they need.

Of 35 original applications, an Institute of Technology for the South West region was one of 16 to be invited to the final stage of the competitive process last year. The proposal draws on expertise from a number of partner organisations, including City College Plymouth, the University of Exeter, the University of Plymouth, Bridgwater & Taunton College, Exeter College, Petroc, and Truro & Penwith College.

City College Plymouth will receive £2 million to invest in state-of-the art facilities to grow and develop higher education programmes such as the UK’s first Marine Autonomous Vehicle Foundation Degree. Courses like this will address the regional skills gaps and shortages and help stimulate growth in this world-leading sector, positioning Plymouth as one of the world’s centres of excellence for marine engineering and marine autonomy research, development and education.

Funds will also enable the College to continue to work in partnership with Babcock to drive forward innovation in engineering and education, moving towards a digital era of training utilising virtual and augmented reality technology.

A group of ‘anchor employers’ will lead the direction of the new Institute of Technology and ensure focus on the latest industry skills. These employers are from Babcock, Oxygen House and the Met Office in Exeter and TDK Lambda in Ilfracombe. This bid is also supported by both Heart of the South West and the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

Penny Wycherley, Principal and Chief Executive of City College Plymouth, said: “It’s fantastic news for the region that the South West consortium has been successful in its bid. As one of the region’s leading colleges in delivering world-class higher level digital and marine engineering skills, particularly in marine autonomous vehicles, the funding will enable City College Plymouth to further grow our employer-led provision, responding to local and regional skills gaps and shortages.”

Andy Correy, Head of Production at Babcock, said “This is great news for the South West and offers exciting new opportunities and facilities for those wishing to develop technical knowledge, skills and careers in the region. It forms a truly collaborative approach between HE, FE and leading employers who are all focussed on ensuring this provides world class technical education enabling it to become one of the world’s leading regions for digital, engineering and manufacturing technologies.”

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