New construction centre training future generations of tradesmen opens on the outskirts of Norwich

Easton College. Steve Adams

Easton College. Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

A new £3.75m centre - designed to provide training to a new generation of builders and tradesmen - will be officially opened today.

The facility at Easton and Otley College's Norfolk campus, on the outskirts of Norwich, is intended to help plug a perceived shortfall in the numbers of skilled workers needed to meet the region's housing demands.

The new centre, which will treble the number of construction students at the site, will allow the college to offer courses in bricklaying, joinery, site carpentry and electrical subjects. In the next three to four years the college hopes to enrol almost 300 students annually.

The ribbon will be cut by the college's former principal, David Lawrence, who retired earlier this year after 22 years at the helm.

The building work at the Norfolk campus began eight months ago, with a visit from Lord Michael Heseltine who signed a New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal which brought £221m to Norfolk and Suffolk.

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The LEP invested £2.5m into the new centre which is the first Growth Deal project to be completed nationally.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, said: 'The next generation will be learning their skills in state of the art facilities. The college can make a very real change to the housing picture in Norfolk and Suffolk - and nationally too.'

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