Businesses given insight into Sunderland University’s new £10million college

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BUSINESSES have been given a new insight into Sunderland University’s new £10million North East University Technical College (UTC).

The UTC is being developed between the University of Sunderland, Hitachi Rail Europe and Gestamp Tallent Limited.

“We’re expecting planning permission to go in this month, fingers crossed, and then if approved we’re due to start construction in August, so the development is really starting to kick on now.”

Former Gestamp Tallent boss David Land

Former Gestamp Tallent boss David Land is working with the university on engagement with local companies, and outlined the latest developments at a meeting of the Aycliffe Business Park Community.

He told the meeting a head teacher had now been appointed, while a planning application was due to be submitted to Durham County Council this month.

An announcement on the new head would be made within weeks.

Mr Land said: “We’re really pleased because we don’t just have a head teacher, but we have someone with a manufacturing background and someone who’s passionate about achieving the same objectives that we are.

“We’re expecting planning permission to go in this month, fingers crossed, and then if approved we’re due to start construction in August, so the development is really starting to kick on now.”

The college, which will be built at Long Tens Way on Aycliffe Business Park, will offer 600 places to 14 to 19-year-olds from across the North East and will specialise in advanced manufacturing and engineering.

“The UTC is something that, from a manufacturing perspective, I was really keen to get engaged with,” Mr Land told the meeting.

“We’ve had problems in the past trying to get young people into engineering and manufacturing-based subjects.

“It’s difficult to break the current curriculums in standard schools, so the UTC was the ideal opportunity.”