College reveals plans for groundbreaking £9m digital technology hub
PUBLISHED: 17:15 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:15 27 March 2019
A multimillion pound grant is set to bring a major boost to digital skills teaching and create new jobs at City College Norwich.
The college has been awarded £6.1m by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for a new building focused on skills for the digital industries – identified as a key growth area for the region’s economy.
The Digi-Tech Factory will bring the college’s digital technology, engineering and design courses into one building, hosting full and part-time courses as well as apprenticeship learning.
Planned for the 2020-21 academic year, it will be equipped with industry-standard facilities for courses from creative media and programming to “hard” digital skills relating to infrastructure development and automated manufacturing.
It will support a significant rise in the number of students on digital skills courses at City College in the next three years, which is set to quadruple from 107 students at present to 477 by September 2022.
The college will be one of the first in England to offer a T-level in digital skills when the post-16 qualifications are introduced in 2020 and it is also set to introduce apprenticeships in subjects such as software development and data analysis in the coming years as its apprentice cohort grows.
The total cost of the Digi-Tech Factory project will be £9.1m, with the college contributing alongside the New Anglia LEP’s investment.
Corrienne Peasgood, principal of City College Norwich, said the investment was great news for students and employers.
She said: “We are thrilled that our plans for an inspirational new building for digital skills can move forward, with a view to opening the Digi-Tech Factory in 2020-21.
“The digi-tech sector is growing more than twice as fast as the wider economy, so it is essential that we have the right facilities to meet the growing demand for digital skills.
“We will continue to work very closely with our employer partners to make sure our expanding digital skills provision rises to this important opportunity for students, for apprentices and for the Norfolk and Suffolk economy as a whole.”
City College Norwich’s project was one of four awarded funding from the New Anglia LEP’s capital growth fund. Bids from Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, Suffolk New College and the University of Suffolk were also successful, with a total of £14.5m handed out.