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Royal opening of innovative campus buildings at Eastleigh College

Eastleigh College welcomed HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO to open its state-of-the-art Advanced Technology Centre and Creative Skills Centre on Tuesday 24th April 2018.

The prestigious event, which marked the opening of the £12.9million phase of the College’s campus redevelopment, included a tour for His Royal Highness, who witnessed first-hand the high-level training and facilities Eastleigh College offers aspiring professionals.

Jason, a Level 3 Engineering Student, had the opportunity to meet HRH The Duke of Gloucester during his time at the College, and commented, “It was great to meet and speak with His Royal Highness. He was intrigued by all of the projects we were working on, and how the equipment in the new centres will facilitate and prepare us to enter industry”.

The Centres were officially opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester in the presence of a variety of guests, including Khalid Aziz, Deputy Lieutenant for Hampshire, Cllr Maureen Sollitt, Mayor of Eastleigh, representatives from the Solent LEP, College governors, in addition to a selection of employers working in partnership with the College and Headteachers from local schools.

Following the unveiling of the commemorative plaque, His Royal Highness congratulated both staff and students of Eastleigh College on their dedication and closed the event by encouraging all students to embrace and utilise the new centres, which will prepare them for entry into their industry of choice.

Both centres boast facilities spanning advanced electronics, robotics, engineering, digital media and built environment amongst others, and are used widely by a range of apprentices, full-time and part-time students.

Chay, a Level 3 Mechanical and Electrical Engineering student, commented “I have really benefitted from the electrical machinery and facilities in the new buildings, as all the equipment we will use in the new workshops is the same machinery we will use in industry. The centres will enable us to build our confidence and experience in this field, ready for our future careers.”

Both innovative buildings have also been shortlisted for this year’s Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) South East Awards, highlighting architectural excellence across the region.

Dr Jan Edrich, Chief Executive and Principal at Eastleigh College added, “It’s been an honour to welcome His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester to open the College’s Advanced Technology Centre. Our buildings and facilities also mark a national shift in the focus on the high-level technical and professional courses, which the College has been pleased to offer for over 50 years. I hope today our guests have enjoyed meeting our students and hearing about how the development can help them reach their real potential.”

Commenting on the investment into the project through the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (Solent LEP) and Government’s Local Growth Fund, Solent LEP Chairman Gary Jeffries, added, "Getting people with the right skills is absolutely critical to Solent businesses. This investment is all about securing a prosperous future for our economy, our businesses and our local workforce.”

To find out more about the range of course available within our Advanced Technology Centre and Creative Skills Centre, please click here.