East Coast College’s £11.4m Energy Skills Centre in Lowestoft will teach young people ‘cutting edge’ skills
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Young people from across the region will be able to learn skills putting them at the 'cutting edge' of the energy industry after a multi-million pound centre was given the green light.
The £11.4m Energy Skills Centre will be built at East Coast College's Lowestoft campus after £10m funding was secured from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
The centre, which will replace a former engineering technology building at the St Peter's Street site, will provide added space and improved facilities to train workers for roles across the nuclear, oil and gas, decommissioning and renewables sectors.
Stuart Rimmer, chief executive of East Coast College, said: 'This is a huge commitment to the newly formed East Coast College and tremendous support for technical and professional education in the region for energy and engineering.
'This places the college at the cutting edge of technical education nationally.
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'This will create world-class facilities for our region to support business and the future workforce.'
The new centre has been welcomed by energy sector leaders, who said developing home-grown skills in East Anglia was essential to make the most of the booming offshore renewables industry and discovery of new gas fields accessible from Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
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Simon Gray, chief executive of the East of England Energy Group, said: 'It is timely because we are looking at a period of rejuvenation for the South North Sea. The new discoveries will require new skills and technology to access them.'
He added that he hoped it would help with 'significant issues with unemployment' in the coastal towns.
The centre is expected to be operational in December 2018.
It is the third major skills project funded by the LEP through the £290m Growth Deal with the government. A construction skills centre at Easton and Otley College and the university centre at the College of West Anglia have both been completed.
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, said: 'It will unlock the potential of a generation, giving them the skills business tells us it needs, as our fast-growing energy sector continues to evolve, compete and win on a global stage.'