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14 December 2016, 12:25 | Updated: 14 December 2016, 14:14
The first students have moved into a £13m new college campus in Daventry.
It's part of Northampton College and the new Daventry Campus in Badby Road West, has opened its doors for the first time, with students able to make the most of a new Digital Academy, industry-standard workshops for motor vehicle engineering and hairdressing and beauty therapy salons.
Courtney Savage, aged 17, a Level 2 health and social care student, said:
"I think the new building is smarter, it feels bigger and is generally a much nicer place to come to everyday. I think the new style is more appropriate for a college because it feels like a step up from school and more like a university."
Level 3 childcare student Vicky Foulks, aged 16, said:
"There are much better facilities now which has created a lot more workspace for us to use which is important in childcare as we need to learn a lot of practical aspects of child development.
With facilities like this on our doorstep it opens up a whole new world of possibilities."
Hundreds of new students at the campus have been handed a free HP Chromebook to help them with their studies, as part of the College’s commitment to a digital future.
The new campus features the very latest ICT and Mac suites, teaching space for healthcare and childcare plus dedicated provision for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said:
"Our new curriculum, with a focus on preparing students for the world of work, is complemented by stunning facilities and unrivalled links with local employers. Our ambition is to make sure that Daventry Campus students achieve their potential, gain their qualifications and move on to secure the best jobs possible."
Northampton College was awarded a £6.5m Local Growth Fund by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) to part fund this purpose built campus in Daventry town centre.
Stephen Catchpole, chief executive of SEMLEP, said:
"We are delighted to see students moving into this fantastic new facility which we hope will inspire the workforce of the future in Daventry.
The new campus is a perfect example of what we are trying to achieve in the South East Midlands with the Local Growth Deal funding. We want to support ambitious projects which invest in our people and communities, creating opportunities for future generations.
Students will now be able to learn in the very best surroundings with state-of-the-art facilities. We look forward to seeing them develop into bright, hardworking young people who can secure jobs with local employers, helping to grow their businesses in the years to come."
Among the Daventry Campus highlights are a new Digital Academy, which will teach students software and coding, web development, games design and social media. The Academy will form a key part of the campus’s technical and professional curriculum providing students with cutting edge facilities and training from digital experts and local employers from the creative and digital sector.
In addition, there are growing numbers of vacancies in the Daventry area for Apprenticeships that enable students to ‘earn while they learn’.
The curriculum includes a range of study programmes that consist of technical and professional qualifications plus maths and English and employability skills.
The development benefited from £2.9m passed on by Daventry District Council as part of the contribution made by the housing developer towards local community facilities and infrastructure.
Councillor Colin Poole, Daventry District Council’s Economic, Regeneration and Employment Portfolio Holder, said:
"The new campus is excellent news for Daventry. We are extremely proud to have worked with the college, SEMLEP and other partners to progress these state-of-the-art facilities, including a new Digital Academy that will elevate our town’s educational offer for young people."