Work starts on new £26.4 million STEM and Higher Education (HE) Centre at Chichester College.

The college is building a new multi-million pound Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) facility, with a dedicated space for HE classrooms and learning suites.

City planners gave the project the green light at the end of 2023, and following the securing of additional funding, work starts on the new development this month (March 2024). It will put the college at the cutting edge of training delivery in a whole range of subjects and provide exciting opportunities for students in the local area.

Standing at four storeys, the new building will be home to a suite of modern teaching and interactive spaces, which will be used to integrate new technology. On the ground floor, modern automotive workshops will house facilities enabling students to train with electric and hybrid vehicle technology and petrol and diesel vehicles. The first floor will house dedicated suites for engineering and computing, and the second floor will host an array of modern science laboratories. The top floor will be a dedicated HE centre, with study spaces designed to meet the needs of students across a range of university-level courses. Helen Loftus, Principal of Chichester College, said: “We are excited to see work begin on this fantastic new facility here at Chichester College. “As we prepare to celebrate our 60th anniversary this September, we continue to invest in the futures of young people in our area. “When we opened back in 1964, the college demonstrated a commitment to providing young people with the opportunity to learn and train locally, taught by superb industry experts in the best possible facilities. We continue to build on that legacy today. “This new facility will give the college a specialist building to train students in advanced STEM technologies. “The new STEM facility will enhance the way we teach and enable us to develop new courses to train the future workforce in a wide range of specialisms. “It will support our students in accessing more opportunities and studying in industry-standard facilities that will prepare them for life after college.”

Sustainability is also vital to the building’s design, reinforcing the Chichester College Group’s journey towards Net Carbon Zero. It will use technology that reduces carbon emissions and generates sustainable energy. The facility is funded by a grant from the Department for Education, alongside capital funding from the Office for Students for a Higher Education Centre.  

The building will replace the college's old ‘F Block’ on the site, which was demolished last summer. The new building is planned to open to students in 2025.

Richard Poulter, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon Construction South commented: “We are delighted to be delivering the new STEM facility in partnership with Chichester College Group. It will provide the students with a new, modern and energy efficient learning space that will be fit for all the future generations to come.”

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