EDUCATION is set to get a big boost after Portsmouth won its bid to be home to a university technical college.
News of the announcement has been welcomed with city leaders saying it will offer exciting prospects for youngsters wanting to specialise in engineering and mechanics.
The £6m college will be open to 14 to 19-year-old students from Portsmouth and the surrounding areas up to Winchester and will offer essential hands-on experience.
Led by the University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council, the UTC will open in September 2016.
It is expected to provide the city and region with a steady number of young people with skills sought by employers.
The project has been supported by the Royal Navy, BAE Systems, QinetiQ, Airbus, Pall Europe and Ben Ainslie Racing.
Minister for Portsmouth Matthew Hancock announced the success of the bid.
He said: ‘Young people in Portsmouth will have new opportunities to study first-rate engineering courses.
‘It’s fantastic news for young people and the local economy that Portsmouth will have a new generation of locally-trained, highly-skilled marine engineers.
‘This is a key part of our plan to support Portsmouth’s economy, create more jobs for local people and make sure hardworking taxpayers are better off.’
City of Portsmouth Boys’ School, in Hilsea, will be the shared site for the UTC which will operate separately to the current school.
It is anticipated that around 75 Year 10 students and 100 Year 12 students will enrol in the first year.
University of Portsmouth pro vice-chancellor for education and student experience Professor Paul Hayes said: ‘This successful bid is the culmination of many months of hard work by the team.
‘UTC Portsmouth will offer an exciting curriculum and excellent employment and university prospects for pupils.’
Leader of the council Councillor Donna Jones said the bid would improve the future of the city for young people.
‘This is one of the biggest education developments in recent years, which will directly improve the future of our city’s young people,’ she said.
The announcement comes a day after businesses in the city said the top thing they wanted to see in Portsmouth is young people better prepared for the workplace.