In what will be an education and training first for the South East, East Kent College is a major step closer to opening its new Centre for Environmental Technologies.
The College can now move into the £6.5m building after Morgan Sindall completed the construction programme and handed it over to Deputy Principal Anne Leese at a ceremony earlier this month.
The Centre, scheduled to welcome its first students in November this year, will offer skills and training courses in renewable technologies, engineering and construction. It will also provide students with the skills to launch a successful career in this growing industry. East Kent College is also working with leading local employers to ensure that the environmental technology training provided at the Centre meets the skills needs of local businesses to enable them to grow.
A strong advocate for environmental technologies, Thanet South MP, Laura Sandys, said: “The centre is great news for Thanet and adds yet another dimension to our green business offering. I am delighted that following a great deal of work to secure this money, which included my inviting the Minister John Hayes to Thanet, we now have a one of a kind environmental technologies centre which will provide people with the skills they need to obtain work in this ever expanding sector right into the future.”
Deputy Principal Anne Leese, who is delighted with the new building, added: “It will provide fantastic facilities and opportunities for our students. The only one of its kind in the South East, we see it as key to developing the much needed skills for the construction and engineering industries in the future.”
The Centre will contain all the latest equipment for students of plumbing, carpentry and joinery, electronic and mechanical engineering, as well as sustainable building techniques, solar panel installation and renewable energy. Alongside its large open-plan workshops, are exposed electrical and mechanical systems, enabling students to view them working and fully understand how a building is designed and constructed.
Recognising that an environmental technologies centre needs to live up to its environmental credentials, the building incorporates roof-mounted photovoltaic cells for electrical power, solar thermal panels to heat water, rainwater harvesting to flush its toilets and equipment to measure both energy generated and used. Thanks to its low carbon footprint, the Centre is on track to be awarded a BREEAM rating of Excellent, an assessment of the sustainability of a building’s design and construction.
Visitors will be able to take a guided tour of the new Centre at East Kent College’s Open Day on Saturday 9 November from 9.00am-1.00pm.