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A new building at Northampton College will see construction students develop their skills ‘brick by brick’ in a purpose-built extension to a state-of-the-art facility.

The new space forms part of an add-on to the Advanced Construction Engineering (ACE) Centre and will see bricklaying students enjoy extra room in which to hone their skills.

Dignitaries and guests were on hand for the official opening on Friday, October 21, with Attorney General and Conservative MP for Northampton North, Michael Ellis performing the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

He said: “Advanced construction engineering is in such demand and we need these young people, they are part of building our economy and our society. Colleges like this, and Northampton College is an exemplar, play an important part in our social construct as well as our learning - developing skills that are in acute demand.

“I have lived and worked in Northampton my whole life and it has been a great privilege to have seen this college grow. It has come on leaps and bounds and all the teaching staff have done an incredibly good job.

The original ACE Centre was opened in 2019 to tackle a severe skills shortage and build a better future for the construction industry in Northamptonshire.

The £4.75million facility is now home to 400 full-time students, 200 apprentices and 50 adult learners, helping to train the next generation of builders, plumbers and decorators and teach pioneering new techniques aimed at equipping the workforce of the future with the very latest skills. 

Principal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, said: “We have been on a journey as a college. There is huge economic growth locally and Northamptonshire is needed now more than ever to drive the economy forward. That means there is an onus on our young people to get their qualifications and help us to rebuild.”

A number of key industry partners attended the launch at Booth Lane, including Castle Climate Control, Cawleys Waste and Resource Management and D&A Decorators.