THE new £10million North East University Technical College (UTC) is on track to open in 2016, after final approval was reached on the location.
The UTC is being developed between partners the University of Sunderland, Hitachi Rail Europe and Gestamp Tallent Limited and will be funded by the Department for Education as a state funded but independent school.
We have developed a curriculum with support from world-class engineering companies
Building work is expected to begin later this year at Long Tens Way, on the Newton Aycliffe Business Park, close to Hitachi Rail Europe’s new plant.
Professor Gary Holmes, chair of trustees at Sunderland University, speaking on behalf of the partners commented: “We can now confirm that we expect contractors to start work in the summer.
“The building design is at an early stage but will feature a specialist engineering hall with state-of-the-art kit and the facility for large scale work to take place.
“We have a clear vision for the creation of an excellent UTC that will make a significant contribution to education and to the future of engineering in the North East.”
Since receiving the go-ahead from the Department of Education in August 2014 the partners have been working towards an opening in 2016.
“The agreement on the site and the build is a major milestone for us,” said Professor Holmes.
Professor Holmes continued: “We have professional project management working with us and we are currently focussing on the education plan for the college and other policy tasks.
“Our admissions policy for the new college has been submitted to DfE. It emphasises the recruitment of young people at 14 and at 16 from South Durham and Darlington who can benefit from the UTC experience, which integrates technical, practical and academic learning.
He added: “We have developed a curriculum with support from world-class engineering companies Hitachi Rail Europe and Gestamp Tallent and by drawing in other local expertise. We plan to create an environment where students can thrive and develop the abilities that industry needs.”
“We want to create a new college that is of benefit both to the students and the wider community. We want the experience young people have to be life changing, giving them the chance to learn the skills needed and attain the qualifications required to move into industries where there are jobs.
We’re particularly keen to see more girls in engineering and part of the UTC’s role will be to expand the horizons of its students and open them up to the many opportunities for fulfilling careers that exist here in the North East.”