Lee-on-the-Solent centre of excellence is ready after 42 weeks

Peter Marsh, Steve Dingsdale and Nigel Duncan outside the new Cemast building. Picture: Kimberley Barber
Peter Marsh, Steve Dingsdale and Nigel Duncan outside the new Cemast building. Picture: Kimberley Barber
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HUNDREDS of students have already enrolled for courses at a new college even though it has only just officially opened.

A ceremony was held yesterday afternoon at Cemast — the Centre of Excellence for Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training — to mark the completion of the building.

The college, on the Daedalus site in Broom Way, Lee-on-the-Solent, took just 42 weeks to build and cost Fareham College, which was behind the new centre, £12m.

Principal Nigel Duncan said he was delighted that the college has already enrolled more than 885 students for the coming term, despite the building not even being open.

Mr Duncan said: ‘After 322 days of construction the building is almost finished and ready for student occupation in September.’

Students will study highly-skilled courses such as aeronautical, electronics and marine engineering.

Mr Duncan added: ‘We are very proud to see this building complete. It’s a fantastic facility for young people in this area.’

Deputy principal, Peter Marsh, who has overseen the Cemast project, said: ‘It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. As with every project, it’s had its issues but we have worked them through corroboratively. It’s been a great project with superb partnership work and we are immensely proud of the result. She is beautiful – I’d even go so far as to describe her as the best box in Hampshire.’

Dignitaries were invited to have a look around the site. Fareham MP Mark Hoban was among them.

Mr Hoban said: ‘The centre is a real beacon to people locally, showing that there is a future in engineering.

‘It shows advanced skills as something that are worthwhile and reassures people that by studying these skills, they have a certain future. And that is a only going to contribute in the long term to the economy.’

Fareham’s council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘To hear that so many students have enrolled is a huge vote of confidence in what they have managed to achieve.’

Fareham College’s other site in Bishopsfield Road, Fareham, is also undergoing major renovation work worth £16m.