Nick Boles MP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, visited the planned site of iMET - a new training facility delivering advanced technical skills in manufacturing, engineering and technology - at the Alconbury Weald Enterprise Zone in Cambridgeshire on Friday 1st April.
Mr. Boles met with project stakeholders and celebrated the confirmation of the £10.5million capital funding that has been secured from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growth Deal.
iMET, anchored by Huntingdonshire Regional College, will directly support the growth ambitions of companies on the Campus and in the local area. Working in partnership with the LEP, Urban&Civic, Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, and a range of local and regional business groups, iMET will further support sustainable growth in the region and play a robust part in driving manufacturing and engineering skills forward and supporting improved productivity in industry.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “I am delighted to see that the LEP has secured this important investment in the skills that businesses need for future growth. The partnership approach behind iMET and the priority on working with businesses to understand their needs is exemplar. I know this is just a muddy field today but the strength of vision and commitment here will soon make this innovative facility a reality.”
Matthew Brown, Huntingdonshire Regional College Vice-Principal and Project Sponsor, commented: “Huntingdonshire Regional College are delighted to confirm that the go-ahead has been given for the iMET project. It will deliver skills that match the needs of employers and the wider economy by offering dynamic and flexible delivery of a range of courses and apprenticeships with the aim of raising the bar in productivity levels.”
Neil Darwin, Chief Executive of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “Having a long-term solution to delivering the skills businesses need is vital for the future growth of the local economy. The funding we have secured for the iMET centre will give a real boost to the area as it will deliver the vital training, skills and support businesses need to grow, whilst continuing the development and economic success of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough area.”
Robin Butler, Managing Director of site owners and developers Urban&Civic added: "iMET will be a powerful additional to the landscape at Alconbury Weald. We are moving forward apace with both residential and commercial development and the iMET facility provides a natural bridge between these. The support iMET will give to manufacturing and engineering both locally and regionally is fundamental to capitalising on this momentum. We are delighted to be gifting this land and welcome the continuing support of the LEP, HDC and central government in bringing this project to fruition."
iMET, a not-for-profit organisation, will deliver new skills sets at the cutting edge of technological development and iMET will work with employers to source and deliver the training they require.
iMET will offer Advanced and Higher level apprenticeships, HNC/HND engineering courses, short specialist courses, digital technology training, sector leadership and management courses.
The iMET facility is due to open in the summer of 2017.
For more information, please visit www.imet.co.uk