Henley College’s refurbished Advanced Digital and Science Centre that’s set to support 100 new learners has benefitted from £500,000-worth of government investment, secured by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The new suite unveiled yesterday on Zoom has 50 brand new Apple Mac computers with the latest editing software. The suite can be divided into two classrooms and has areas for group working including booths with screens in for students to edit together. The suite will enable students to benefit from leading science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) related facilities.
In turn, the centre is expected to have a major impact on several key sectors across the county and beyond, including; digital technologies, engineering and life sciences.
Sarah Wilson, Creative Media Curriculum Leader at Henley College who did the honours of cutting the official ribbon said, “It’s a really beautiful space. I’m so proud of what we have created. It will help our students far more than a traditional classroom. It is a like a work environment. Thanks to Satwant (Henley College Principal) for her forward vision.”
The investment aligns closely with the recently-launched Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy that aims to see the county become one of the top-three global innovation ecosystems by 2040. To support this ambition, OxLEP has worked closely with both the private sector and the county’s education providers – including The Henley College – to create clear pathways for young people, helping them to develop the skills needed to secure career opportunities through a future innovation ecosystem.
OxLEP secured £500,000 of funding for the project via the government’s Local Growth Fund – the overall cost of the project was £1m. They are one of 38 Local
Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England playing a key role in driving forward economic growth. By 2021 – it’s expected that central Government will have invested over £12bn into the UK economy via the Local Growth Fund.
Nigel Tipple, OxLEP Chief Executive said: “The completion of such a significant project – that will have a positive impact on the lives of many young people – is
excellent news. “As the Local Enterprise Partnership for Oxfordshire – we will continue to play a vitally important role for the county moving forward, securing investment that enables new opportunities that benefit our community for many years to come. Oxfordshire has significant ambitions, including the aim of becoming a top-three
global innovation ecosystem by 2040 via the county’s Local Industrial Strategy. This ambition requires a solid underpinning of relevant skills and this project
absolutely supports such an ambition.”
Satwant Deol – Principal & Chief Executive of The Henley College said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership have partially funded the developments of our brand new Creative Media Suite. Not only does this align with our strategic priorities, but is a well needed investment which will support our students to help them gain industry related skills, and provide them with the competitive edge needed for their progression into university or work. Our students deserve the latest digital facilities and an environment which is conducive to learning. This is the third project that OxLEP have supported and the Governors and I would like to extend our enormous gratitude for their continuous support and belief in our ability to deliver a future skills pipeline for the Oxfordshire region and UK PLC.”
Luke Hall MP – Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government – said: “I am delighted that The Henley College has completed work on its Advanced Digital
and Science Centre. Government has invested £500,000 in this project through the Local Growth Fund, as it is vital that young people across the country are equipped with the skills they need to thrive in today’s ever-changing, dynamic jobs market.”