A COLLEGE in Portsmouth has announced a £2.5m plan to build England’s only dedicated science centre.
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Centre would be a state-of-the-art teaching area focused on delivering high-level education in these subjects.
The scheme also includes sports facilities with a boxing academy for the Amateur Boxing Association, two new covered sports pitches and an indoor disability fitness facility to be built.
Steve Frampton, principal of Portsmouth College, which is leading the project, said: ‘Historically, we have had a very low number of people interested in science, technology, engineering and maths.
‘That’s had a knock-on in terms of the number of people that see their future in these activities.
‘We know that in Portsmouth there are jobs in science, engineering, technology and maths.
‘So the real issue is that we need to engage with people when they are a lot younger and show them how exciting they are.
‘There are jobs available to them and they are very well paid jobs.’
A similar centre has already been built in Dungannon in Northern Ireland.
The centre will provide day activities targeting key stage 2 and key stage 3 students, aged between eight and 14.
Typical activities will focus on specialist areas such as crime scene investigation, space exploration and computer technology in engineering.
Mr Frampton said the sport facilities would fit well with the new centre.
‘We are still a sporting city,’ he said.
‘We are still a football city. It’s in our blood.
‘We think the two fit very well.
‘It will impact on the life choices for people in this city.’
The centre, which will be built next to Portsmouth College, will be used by people from as far afield as Chichester, Petersfield, and Southampton.
Bids will be put in to Sport England and the Football Foundation for funding by the end of the year.
Financial support has also been offered by Portsmouth City Council, Goals, Imperial University and Portsmouth College.
But an additional £100,000 is still needed to fund the project and local businesses are being urged to get in touch.