Big step for new training centre at old Daedalus site

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Funding has been approved to build a new training centre at the former HMS Daedalus airfield in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Fareham College is to build a £12m training centre for around 600 people every year, called The Centre for Engineering Advanced Skills Training.

It’s all part of a bid to boost the number of people qualified to work in engineering and manufacturing – particularly in the field of aerospace, aeronautics and marine engineering.

Funding has been provided by the Skills Funding Agency, Hampshire County Council, Fareham College and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Nigel Duncan, principal of Fareham College, added: ‘From a college perspective we are hugely excited.

‘The fact that the funding streams have come in themselves is testament to the commitment to supporting the employment opportunities in Fareham and Gosport.

‘We are so pleased to have investors at last. That’s a great testament to what we are trying to do. It’s a commitment by them to the college itself.’

The training centre looks set to open in September 2014.

The engineering and manufacturing courses currently running at the college will relocate to the new site.

Councillor Sean Woodward, chairman of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH), said: ‘I think it’s absolutely fantastic news.

‘It’s giving out exactly the right message about what we want to achieve in the Solent Enterprise Zone.

‘The jobs in aerospace and marine industries are much better paid than average jobs in the economy.

‘If we are going to achieve what PUSH want to, to drive on economic growth, it’s all about the highly paid and highly skilled jobs.

‘South Hampshire has lagged behind for many years now with highly paid and highly skilled jobs. This will help tremendously.’

Kim Thorneywork, chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency, said: ‘This additional funding demonstrates the Government’s continued commitment to the further education estate allowing students to grow and flourish in an exciting, inspirational, modern learning environment in the heart of the local community.’