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Council Leader Lays STEM Centre Foundation Stone
10 October 2016 | College News
A significant milestone has been reached in the building of Plymouth’s new Regional Centre of Excellence for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) with the laying of the foundation stone. Councillor Ian Bowyer, Leader of Plymouth City Council, laid the stone at City College’s Kings Road site.
The £13million state-of-the-art facility, funded by the Council, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) and the Regional Growth Fund, has seen more than 50 employers involved in shaping its development. The Centre will provide a flexible learning environment that simulates ‘real work’ scenarios with industry-standard workshops, laboratories and studios. It will be equipped with high-tech resources to support a broader and more relevant STEM curriculum.
“The laying of the foundation stone takes the construction of the Regional Centre of Excellence for STEM a step closer to completion,” said Phil Davies, City College Principal and Chief Executive.
“STEM is a local and national priority for addressing a predicted future skills shortage in related industries; building the Centre is a direct response to that. Our commitment is to train and develop young people and adults that employers and the economy needs.
“We want to stimulate interest and support for higher-paid STEM jobs, while at the same time encourage students to remain and develop their careers in the local workforce. Our vision for the Centre is to enable more cross-curriculum learning that embeds enterprise, employability and STEM into everything we do.”
Councillor Bowyer said: “The Regional Centre of Excellence for STEM is integral to Plymouth’s Local Economic Strategy and its Plan for Employment and Skills. Both highlight the need to develop the STEM-related skills to support job creation in high growth sectors and drive the City’s productivity. I’m extremely honoured to lay the foundation stone today.”
Chris Garcia, Chief Executive, HotSW LEP, said: “I am delighted to see the Regional Centre for Excellence in STEM starting to take shape. Addressing the skills gap and enabling sustainable employment is a priority for HotSW LEP. This project is a real asset to the area and I am very positive about its ability to maximise economic growth.”
Work on the Centre, which is being built by Kier, started in February this year and is due to be completed in autumn 2017. The five-story building is starting to rise upwards with formwork and reinforcement for the third floor in place.
Brian Rice, Operations Director Kier Construction Western and Wales, said: “The construction team are delighted to see the foundation stone being laid today; they are immensely proud of the building and have enjoyed showing students around site. I very much hope that seeing the project during construction has been an inspiration to the potential careers that their STEM studies can lead to.”