News construction and engineering centre to fill skills gap

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A planning application has been submitted for a new £2.5m skills centre for Leighton Buzzard.

The new facility – on land adjacent to the current Vinci Technology Centre on Stanbridge Road – will provide a base for 56 academic staff and places for up to 220 construction engineering students.

It will be known as the Leighton Linslade Engineering and Construction Skills Centre.

It will be part of Central Bedfordshire College, and it is hoped that it will meet the skills gap in the engineering and construction industries across the region. Vinci Technology Centre will act as a partner on the project.

The new centre would be situated on the site of the former Lipton’s factory off Stanbridge Road. The foundations of the old factory are believed to be intact.

After the announcement last year, Ali Hadawi CBE, principal of Central Bedfordshire College, said: “This funding for the partnership with VINCI Technology Centre comes as welcome recognition of the college’s determination to ensure that its training is relevant to the needs of businesses in all employment sectors. The centre is part of a multi-million pound package of co-ordinated investment in the area with the aim of boosting housing and jobs.”

Central Beds Council is expected to make a decision by June 26.