UK's Largest College Expands
More than £400,000 investment from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and a similar amount from the Learning and Skills Council was invested in this £1.6 million expansion of Saltash College, which is a partner of the Combined Universities in Cornwall.
The Rt Hon Beverly Hughes, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families helped mark a very important day in Cornwall College Saltash's history, as five years of planning and preparation came to fruition in the opening of the new Tavy Building.
The £1.6 million investment is the largest development in the College's history and adds to the site a new college resource centre, café, hairdressing salon and child care area as well as new classrooms and offices.
The Minister was welcomed to the College by Dr Alan Stanhope, Chief Executive of the Cornwall College Group and Steve Warnes, Head of Cornwall College Saltash, who then gave the Minister a guided tour of the campus's new facilities.
Ms Hughes took the opportunity to visit a mothers and toddlers group where she was invited to join a teddy bear picnic and share in a special cake made for the day.
Cornwall College Saltash is known for its innovative approach to training. The Child Care department provides Family Centre Services to the community and has been running toddler and baby groups for a number of years. Recently it has developed links with the library service to provide afternoon story sessions twice a week, delivered by the college's first year students.
From 6th October young parents will be able to join a group which will allow them to meet other parents in a relaxed environment where they can indirectly develop and further their parenting skills. Guest speakers from the National Health Service will be available at some sessions, to give advice and guidance on topical subjects such as immunisations and nutrition.
The Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families said: "I'd like to congratulate all who have worked so hard to bring about the new extension and especially the new childcare area, which in particular will help to develop a skilled early year's workforce in the community."
The Minister then moved to the College Resource Centre to take part in the formal opening of the building. The centre is over 1000 square meters and fills the entire ground floor of the new building. There, students can benefit from state-of the art PC's, dedicated workshops and quiet areas as well as a wide range of reference materials.
John Mannell, Chair of Governors for Cornwall College Saltash helped start the official proceedings by thanking those funding groups who have helped to finance the building. He said: "Like many new buildings it's of great importance that the new development is based on future funding and stabilised investment. It means that the College is able to maintain a high level of teaching and learning within the community."
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "This investment in a partner college of the Combined Universities in Cornwall will serve to strengthen links between further and higher education and help to encourage lifelong learning across the region. Adding childcare facilities will also help to widen the opportunities to take up education."
Following the unveiling the guests were invited to see the new College café, which is to become a hub of activity for students where they can enjoy lunch and a cappuccino with friends.
Steve Warnes, Head of Cornwall College Saltash, was delighted with the day's events saying: "We are thrilled to have such excellent new accommodation which gives our students really good opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge needed to get the jobs that they deserve. The College is really buzzing now with busy learners – young and not so young. It has been a fantastic day."
The Cornwall College Group
Established in 1929 to meet the training needs of local industry, Cornwall College has now grown to be the largest further and higher education college in the UK with over 56,000 students.
In August 2001 Cornwall College merged with St. Austell College, creating cross county coverage focussing on all vocational subjects making us a major player on the national scene.
Cornwall College now has campus sites in Falmouth, Newquay, St Austell, Saltash and Camborne and incorporates Duchy College of Agriculture with their sites at Rosewarne, Wadebridge and Stoke Climsland near Callington.
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