£2m new skills centre set for first batch of students
A NEW £2million skills centre has officially been opened in Newton Abbot.
The Brunel Centre, which offers technical and vocational courses for young people, will be run jointly by the three secondary schools serving the area, Teign School, Coombeshead Academy and Newton Abbot College.
Situated on the Brunel Industrial Estate the new centre has been funded by Devon County Council and Teignbridge District Council, with Devon putting £1.75million into the project — the bulk of the cash coming from the sale of Exeter Airport — and Teignbridge contributing £250,000.
Teign School head teacher Vyv Game, who has been leading on the project for the schools, said: "This builds on the three schools' very successful post-16 project and will both widen and broaden our technical and vocational offer for Newton Abbot and the Teign Valley.
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"The courses we are offering, which start in September, are already fully subscribed."
The building was officially handed over to Devon County Council and the three schools by builders Keir Western on Monday, April 23.
Between now and September, the fitting out of the centre will be completed. There will a range of vocational training areas in the new centre for the construction trades as well as a fully functioning kitchen and restaurant for the catering students.
The first 50 students will start their courses in in food preparation, construction and professional cookery in September.
The restaurant will be open to the public to give the students real, hands-on experience.
Devon County Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, Cllr John Clatworthy, said: "This is a real partnership between the three schools, Devon County Council and Teignbridge District Council and it's situated on the business park where the students will see the real world of work."
Teignbridge District Council leader Cllr Jeremy Christophers added: "We really want to encourage more skilled young people to keep their talents in Teignbridge and hope to complement the centre's work by encouraging more local jobs for its students."