Harrogate College opens its doors to new facilities

It’s the start of a new era for Harrogate College following a £6m campus redevelopment that has seen brand new industry standard facilities opening for the start of September 2016.

The project, part funded by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership has brought facilities for an expansion of new and current curriculum areas as part of the LEP’s aim to strengthen local economies.

Dr Ruth Smith who chairs the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Board said:

“We are delighted to see the completion of the first project in our Skills Capital Programme. To grow the York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding’s economy, it is critical that businesses are able to recruit people with high quality skills so we’re delighted Harrogate College has upgraded its facilities to the highest standard. This enables young people to gain vital vocational skills that employers need. We look forward to hearing about the benefits that both students and employers will gain from it.”

New and returning students in September have been the first to access the £6m redeveloped campus and will enjoy the College’s enhanced curriculum areas that mirror industry standards, such as the Bistro on the Park training restaurant and the Image Academy hair and beauty salons.

Principal of Harrogate College, Debra Forsythe-Conroy said: “This redevelopment represents the start of a new era for the College, one that aspires to match the stature and reputation for quality in the town of Harrogate.

The investment supports our commitment to securing increased employment opportunities in the area and enhancing our ability to develop career packages which include a curriculum which meets local priorities, supports the visitor economy, heritage crafts, and cultural and business economies.”

The build of the Technology Centre has provided a home for the motor vehicle, electrical, welding and joinery workshops, in a purpose built environment that allows students access to top of the range equipment, such as electrical installation booths sponsored by Dunnington Electricals and joinery equipment sponsored by Howdens Joinery.

The front of the main building has been transformed into the ‘high street’ where the bistro, hair salon and HG2 Café are all open to the public in order for students to gain valuable experience of working in a ‘real life’ placement.

The next phase of the Harrogate College investment programme will include a multi-use 3G pitch for student and community use, an expanded curriculum and new IT infrastructure to improve the learning experience of current and future students and allow the College to offer state of the art distance learning courses.

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