South Devon College’s Hi Tech & Digital Centre was successfully crowned the winner in the category ‘Education Project of the Year’, at a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday evening. The annual Property Awards, now in their 18th year, celebrate the most prestigious, innovative and exciting developments taking place in the South West and with this success, the College are seeing great recognition for their vision of education in the region.
Accepting the award, Laurence Frewin, Principal and CEO of South Devon College, said:
“Thank you Michelmores, Judges and sponsors, I am absolutely delighted to accept this Education Project of the Year Award on behalf of the numerous teams and individuals behind our fantastic Hi Tech & Digital Centre.
“A special mention and thanks must go to our visionary Architects LHC Design and Midas Construction who, along with a fantastic group of Design Team professionals led by Currie & Brown supported by our project Managers at the TDA, delivered this leading edge and inspiring Centre for learning and skills within budget and on schedule.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our other funders who shared our vision and passion and helped us make this project a reality. The Heart of the South West LEP, the European Regional Development Fund, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Torbay Council.
“The Hi Tech and Digital Centre delivers technical and professional qualifications in specialist areas of electronics, photonics, advanced & electrical engineering, mechatronics, 3-D printing, CNC technology, programming/coding, cyber security/data analytics, product design, digital marketing, AR, VR and AI.
“Tutored by our industry experienced and dedicated team members, students are already inventing and creating products that have the potential to be used internationally in the digital technology industry.
“From everyone involved and now fully utilising the Hi Tech and Digital Centre Project, we are honoured to have been awarded your Education Project of the Year.”
Karl Tucker, Chair, Heart of the South West LEP said:
“We’re delighted to see the Hi Tech & Digital Centre named Education Project of the Year in these prestigious awards. The HotSW LEP is proud to have been involved in supporting this fantastic new facility, which is providing leading edge digital and tech education that is both inspiring students and ensuring they come out ready and equipped with the skills local employers will need to support future business growth.”
The innovative £17 million Centre provides a visionary facility for further education and training support towards the ever-expanding hi-tech, manufacturing, digital and creative sectors across Torbay, South Devon and wider South West region.
The ethos behind this project was to focus on working closely with leading companies in their field, genuine workplace processes and structure by design. Each level of the cutting edge three-storey building relates to the different stages of product development. From research, development and manufacturing, through to business marketing and distribution of products – students are now studying and gaining specialist skills ‘hands-on’ at the Centre.
Inside, there’s great emphasis on flexibility of space, the importance and need for social and collaborative study areas, and layouts of rooms which will mirror workplace processes and practice. The Centre is made up of 15 dedicated workspaces for individual business units as well as two large, open plan collaboration zones, in addition to specialist computing, engineering, design facilities and the 100-seater screening suite.
With the facilities available within the Hi Tech & Digital Centre for training and education, and the focus on supporting the rapidly expanding sector in Torbay and surrounding areas, it’s expected that more talented individuals will find the opportunity to explore successes like this in a range of different sectors.
The Hi Tech & Digital Centre (HTDC) combines £8.13m from the Heart of the South West LEP’s Growth Deal funding from the Heart of the South West LEP, as well as funding support from European Regional Development Fund, Higher Education Funding Council for England, Garfield Weston Foundation, Torbay Council, South Devon College and private sector investment. It will be a flagship facility, alongside Institutes of Technology developments in the country.