University centre plans to create 100 jobs

Wednesday 9th June 2021 8:41 am
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Hartpury University and Hartpury College bosses say their plans for a new learning centre will create 100 jobs and support thousands of students.

The university is taking part in a bid being pulled together by the Forest of Dean District Council and Cinderford Town Council for £20m of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

The university is bidding for £10m which would go towards a new university innovation, careers and enterprise learning centre.

They will provide £2m of capital match funding and spend around £3m in revenue over five years. And the plans are expected to create around 100 new jobs.

The first phase of the project consists of building an electric vehicle car park in 2022 and the second phase would see the new learning centre and environmental laboratory built in 2023.

They say the new lab would be a catalyst for environmental research and support green tech businesses at Hartpury’s Digital Innovation Farm to develop new products and services.

The final phase includes creating a satellite facility for the university at Five Acres near Coleford by 2027.

Higher Education Funding Council figures from 2017 show only 15% students living in Cinderford are likely to study degrees, one of the lowest in UK.

The university hopes the new centre will help raise young people’s aspirations by reducing the high post 16 educational dropout rate and it will increase the number of skilled workers available locally.

The centre will also provide sports coaches, mentoring, staff and business advice and expertise to support the proposed Destination Five Acres leisure and visitor accommodation facilities.

They say it will also provide a clear, local educational pathway and specialist business support by connecting Hartpury University, Five Acres and the Forest Growth Hub at Vantage Point in Mitcheldean.

Hartpury University and Hartpury College vice-chancellor, principal and CEO Russell Marchant, said they are absolutely delighted to be part of the Levelling Up Fund bid.

“This exciting bid is about delivering jobs, improving facilities, and raising the aspirations and improving the opportunities for young people in the Forest of Dean through a green and sustainable project,” he said.

“We plan to create a world-class centre for innovation, careers and enterprise at Hartpury University and Hartpury College to help cultivate an educational and entrepreneurial pathway for young people, which will be particularly important post-Covid.

“We look forward to working directly with the Five Acres leisure hub to strengthen and grow our relationship with the local community and alongside our bid partners to help increase opportunities and support ambition.”

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