New £3.6m engineering centre to open doors

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A COLLEGE in Yorkshire will open the doors of a new £3.6m specialist engineering centre next month.

Barnsley College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre will open to students when the academic year begins in September, following the refurbishment of its existing engineering and construction site in Old Mill Lane.

The STEM centre will include engineering and electrical workshops, laboratory facilities and learning zones containing computer equipment and reference materials.

A new entrance, canteen and restaurant will be added to the centre during the second phase of the redevelopment, which is expected to be completed in September 2015.

The college received £1.2m in funding towards the project from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

Andrew Fairest, the college’s vice principal for property development, said: “The college is delighted that this development will enable us to continue to provide world class facilities for our students.

“The excellent teaching and learning environment in our new STEM centre will fully support our course provision and the specialist engineering tradition of South Yorkshire and the wider community.”

Two years ago Barnsley College opened a new £50m main campus building.

The project hit the headlines in 2009 as it was among a series of rebuilding projects which were halted by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) after being given initial approval.

The LSC halted 79 schemes £450m worth of schemes because of a lack of Government cash.

Barnsley’s position was more serious than most as it had already begun demolishing its existing campus building.

However it was one of a handful of schemes which was allowed to go ahead and the new nine storey building opened its doors for the 2011/12 academic year.