Tue, 21 May 2019
A NEW university centre is set to open in Newbury next year after receiving a funding boost.
Newbury College has been awarded £1.75m from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVBLEP) Local Growth Fund towards the development of the University Centre Newbury (UCN) and plans have now been submitted.
Additional funds for the £5.5m project will come from the college and investment from supporting partners.
The result will be a state-of-the-art, digitally-integrated, zero-carbon, higher education facility in West Berkshire.
It is expected that the first intake for the University Centre Newbury will be in September 2020.
Newbury College principal and chief executive Iain Wolloff said: “We are thrilled with the fantastic support for the university centre from businesses, the local authority, schools and from the local community.
“With this significant financial backing from the Local Enterprise Partnership, we now look forward to working with all our partners to deliver this new type of university-level education from September 2020.”
The UCN is supported by foundation partnerships with local businesses including Vodafone, Roc Technologies, Xtrac and Sovereign Housing.
It aims to address the needs of local employers and ensure training is relevant and specific, not only for new employees, but also to increase the opportunities to upskill existing staff and help businesses utilise their Apprenticeship Levy payments more effectively.
Director of business and partnerships Dr Jo Houghton said: “We are delighted to have received the funding and support of the TVBLEP and excited that the planning application has been submitted.
“The University Centre Newbury brings a wealth of opportunity for businesses to meet their workforce requirements to engage and upskill in digital technologies and provides a fantastic opportunity for students of all ages to achieve a higher level of training locally.”
The college says the UCN will provide opportunities for young talent to remain in the area and study university-level qualifications alongside their chosen career.
Built to new zero-carbon standards, UCN will be environmentally sustainable.
The centre will incorporate digital technologies that enable students the option to study flexibly.
Key partners, including Buckinghamshire New University, QA Ltd, the University of Reading and The Open University, have been specifically chosen for their expertise to support the delivery of a centre of excellence for the development of higher skills.
West Berkshire Council, Newbury MP Richard Benyon, Thatcham’s Kennet School and Newbury’s Park House School have also provided strong support for the University Centre Newbury.
To find out more about higher-level study options, visit www.newbury-college.ac.uk