It’s official! UTC Warrington is under construction!
Industry specialists, local councillors, representatives from university sponsor Manchester Metropolitan University and the team behind UTC Warrington came together to mark the official ground breaking at the site situated on Dallam Lane today. Of the official ground breaking, Principal & Chief Executive, Lee Barber said “I am pleased to see so much support for the college today as we mark the start of the construction on site. Over the next year we will be able to see our state-of-the-art, iconic college take shape. We will be working closely with main contractor ISG to ensure everything is fit for purpose.”
Danny Murray, ISG’s Northern regional managing director, commented: “Taking the first two phases of this major urban regeneration project in Warrington is a key achievement for the business. This ambitious redevelopment will deliver a positive and long-term legacy for Warrington, with exceptional new facilities attracting the very brightest young people, entrepreneurs and major employers to the area – delivering important benefits to both the local community and the wider economy.”
At the ground breaking Leader of Warrington Borough Council, Cllr Terry O’Neill said “This is an exciting moment for Warrington. The new UTC Warrington is critical to addressing our skills gap. It is essential that we skill our communities up for the jobs that we are creating in the town.
This will be a superb facility for the town and will equip our young people with the essential skills necessary to build careers in our growing energy and engineering sectors”.
Also in attendance Pete Waterman said “It is fantastic to see a dedicated energy and engineering college being built in Warrington. UTC Warrington will equip students in Warrington and beyond with the skills they need to succeed in a career in engineering. Perhaps some students will take up railway engineering as a specialism.
I look forward to coming back to see it when the building is complete and buzzing with students.”
UTC Warrington is part of a movement across the UK towards specialist colleges which are designed to address skills gaps within local industry. The Warrington Skills Commission, conducted in 2012 identified a key skills gap within engineering in the borough, with a particular focus on supporting industry growth within energy and infrastructure sectors. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills were also identified as being vital areas of future growth and employment by the report.
With the Manchester Metropolitan University School of Engineering behind UTC Warrington students can look forward a STEM rich curriculum, with access to the best educational facilities in the North West. The college will house £1m of specialist equipment; additionally students will be able to access facilities at MMU locations across the region and industry specific equipment at employer partner sites such as Sellafield, Amec Foster Wheeler, Tenet Consultants.
Of the partnership, Professor Philip Wheater, Dean of Faculty and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Science and Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University said “At Manchester Metropolitan University, we are very pleased to be a part of the University Technical College, Warrington. Our world-class engineering research and teaching complements our partner employers’ expertise to provide first class opportunities for 14-19 year old students.”
The college will be under construction for the next 12 months, before opening its doors to Year 10 and 12 students from across the region to study GCSEs, A Levels and vocational qualifications from September 2016. Conveniently located within the Stadium Quarter on Dallam Lane, in the town centre, students will easily be able to access the college via public transport links from in and around Warrington.
During the next six months prospective students will be invited along to a series of events hosted by the team at UTC Warrington to find out more about the curriculum on offer to 14 – 19 year olds from across the region, as well as hearing from employer partners and industry specialists about the types of projects they could look forward to working on as students at the college.
Prospective students and their families are invited to come along to find out more about UTC Warrington at the Launch Event which will be held on Thursday 17th September, 5.30pm – 7.30pm at the Pyramid & Parr Hall. Interested parties can register for the event and find out further information by visiting www.utcw.eventbrite.co.uk or www.utcwarrington.org.