The event marked the completion of an exciting programme of development at the College, which included the remodelling and refurbishment of the New Library Building at its Cauldon Campus to create a collaborative, modern and semi open-plan learning space to support the development of innovative digital skills.
The project has been part-funded by Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) from the UK Government’s Getting Building Fund. The LEP allocated £249,523 to this scheme to help create an inspiring learning environment which will in turn help boost employability and digital skills for students across the area.
The new facilities have allowed the College to provide sector leading digital and creative learning facilities for students in the city – helping them to gain the skills they need to meet the growth in these important industries within the region.
It has also been able to expand its offering to include Digital Arts and Engineering courses at advanced and higher levels, including Coding and Software Engineering, to help its students’ progress on to university or employment and meet local skills needs.
Around 30 guests were invited to attend the launch event, including representatives from the region’s leading digital and creative businesses, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
During the event, invited guests had the opportunity to view a showcase of students’ work, take a tour of the new facilities, meet college staff and students, and enjoy refreshments and networking in the College’s Terrace Restaurant.
There were also speeches addressing the digital landscape from Stoke on Trent College Principal & Chief Executive, Lisa Capper MBE; Alun Rogers, Chair of Stoke and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership; Councillor Abi Brown, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and Jo Gideon, MP.
The event concluded with a plaque unveiling by Jeremy Cartwright, Chair of Governors at Stoke on Trent College, Alun Rogers and Councillor Abi Brown.
Lisa Capper MBE, Principal & Chief Executive at Stoke on Trent College, said, “After months of hard work, we are excited to officially unveil our new Digital and Creative Hub.
“Our new state-of-the-art facility will provide innovative learning to help lead the digital revolution in Stoke-on-Trent, by delivering forward-thinking projects to support the future success of our regional creative and digital industries.”
She added, “The new facilities will not only enhance the education and experiences of our current students, but also those who attend the College for many years to come.”
Alun Rogers, chair of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, commented: “We are extremely pleased to have supported this project from the UK Government’s Getting Building Fund, helping to create another inspiring learning environment for students which will foster innovation and in turn support the skills pipeline of our region’s creative and digital industries.
“As co-founder of a business in the regional digital industry myself, I’ve experienced first-hand the importance of bringing-in people with the right skills and talent to help drive growth. This new facility will go some way to help inspire young people with the exciting opportunities available to them in the digital and creative industries across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.”
Councillor Abi Brown, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, commented: “It’s fantastic to see the work being done at Stoke on Trent College, building on the city’s reputation for digital in tandem with our shared ambition to improve results for our children and young people. “This new facility will open up even more opportunities for future generations, and continue to mark out our brilliant city as somewhere that prioritises learning and embraces new technologies.”
Jo Gideon MP commented: “It’s brilliant to see the Government’s Getting Building Fund enabling this brand new digital and creative hub at Stoke-on-Trent College, offering students the opportunity to gain the skills and experience which will lead to better career options. Across the city, I have spoken to manufacturing industries who are specifically looking to recruit staff with qualifications in coding and software engineering as well as broader digital skills.
“Our city is also looking to attract the best creative businesses as part of Silicon Stoke, this new facility means they will be able to fulfil their recruitment needs locally.”