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College unveils expansion plan

SOLIHULL College is on the lookout for a third campus to expand its educational offering.

SOLIHULL College is on the lookout for a third campus to expand its educational offering.

The ambitious expansion was revealed by college principal Brenda Sheils as Business Secretary Vince Cable visited to formally open its redeveloped Blossomfield campus.

Ms Sheils said the college was now looking to expand further, adding: “We are now on the hunt for our third campus to expand our educational programmes to address the skills shortage in the West Midlands.”

The redeveloped campus represents investment totalling £31.5 million, with construction work carried out by the Birmingham office of Kier Moss.

The funding for the two-and-a-half-year project came from the Skills Funding Agency (formerly the Learning and Skills Council) as well as a loan from Nat West bank.

“It was a combination of new-build and refurbishment which touched just about every area of the college,” said Ms Sheils, who added that it represented a major contribution to providing the workplace skills that are needed in the West Midlands region.

“It was a tricky project keeping the college alive and a bit of a jigsaw moving people around.”

Paying tribute to the college’s achievements, Mr Cable said: “I see this as a very important event, not only for the college which has a very good reputation but also in terms of the wider significance for the sector.

“It is a magnificent facility and adds to what is an outstanding college.”

The Business Secretary went on to say he had a special attachment for the further education sector as his father had been directly involved.

“My father was a factory worker who went into further education, launching a department, which developed a belief in training and further education.”

 

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