A new state-of-the-art science centre planned for Stafford will help restore “faith” in the borough after the closure of Staffordshire University’s campus, a councillor believes.
The £3.5 million Science and Technology Centre at Stafford College will feature robots and a LEGO innovation studio.
And Cllr Frances Beatty said the plans would help “restore faith in the borough” after the town lost thousands of university students earlier this year.
The Cabinet member for planning & regeneration for Stafford Borough Council added: “Local businesses are calling out for skilled young people, especially in the advanced technology sector.”
The centre will be based in the Broadeye building within Stafford College, spanning four floors featuring a suite of Macs, Robotic class rooms and a LEGO Education Innovation Studio.
College bosses say the new centre would bring in an extra 150 students.
Daniel Attree, one of 4,350 students at Stafford College, said: “I’m really looking forward to the Science & Technology Centre opening and having the chance to work in the best facilities in the area – it’s going to support me with achieving my grades and getting into university.”
The Science & Technology Centre follows on from a successful bid to Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The LEP will provide £2 million of funding to support the project with Stafford College contributing another £1.5 million.
Karen Dobson, principal at Stafford College and NuLC, added: “This is an exciting development for Stafford College, the Science & Technology Centre will be one the best facilities for learning in the West Midlands.
“We decided to invest additional funds, on top of the original bid, to develop the best facility possible and give our students the best learning experience in these important career areas.
“The centre will be the hub for the new sixth form provision giving students the opportunity to learn and develop the skills needed to progress to university or on to an advanced or higher apprenticeship.”
Work is expected to be complete in June with the centre being available to students studying at Stafford College from September 2017, ready for the next academic year.