Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Building East Kent’s skills base

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in East Kent, and good news for the property sector and the future of its skills base.

East Kent College unveiled plans to transform its campus at Dover during a visit by Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills, accompanied by Charlie Elphicke, MP for the town. 

The plans include creating a specialist vocational space for students studying engineering, logistics and hospitality, as well as reinstating the refectory on the campus.

East Kent College plans to redevelop its recently extended property estate after it formally takes over responsibility for the day-to-day running of its new Dover and Folkestone campuses on August 1, following their demerger from K College.

The designs for the new developments were created by leading further education designers, Tonbridge-based Richard Hopkinson Architects.

The college also recently announced it is establishing a new centre at Discovery Park, which will see the science curriculum being taught at the Sandwich site. 

Demand for science-based skills also looks set to rise in Kent. After a nationwide search, and working closely with Locate in Kent, Australian fertility group Genea has set up its European headquarters for its IVF and stem cell technologies at Discovery Park.

As the first IVF media manufacturer with headquarters and manufacturing in the United Kingdom, Genea Biomedx successfully applied for an interest-free Expansion East Kent grant, supported by the Regional Growth Fund.

East Kent College also welcomed Greg Barker, Minister of State at the Department of Energy & Climate Change, this week when he opened the £6.3m Centre for Environmental Technologies.

Located at the college’s Broadstairs campus, this is the only centre of its kind in Kent and presents an unrivalled opportunity for students to gain skills in the renewable energy, engineering and construction sectors.

And in Dover there’s further good news as manufacturing firm Multipanel UK Ltd makes the most of its new facility in Eythorne, established following close working with the district council and Locate in Kent. The company, which was previously based in China, manufactures aluminium panels.

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