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Blackburn College 'Futures Centre' opens its doors
WELCOME to the Future.
A £7m centre for Blackburn College students features a television studio, cinema theatre and science gadgets.
The Sir Bill Taylor Futures Centre, which opened yesterday ((FRI)), was named in honour of the Blackburn politician and chairman of the college’s corporation board.
it gives students access to world-leading facilities, technologies and learning techniques in subjects including engineering, construction, environmental sustainability, media technology and new technology.
The centre houses a full-sized television studio, music recording suites, cinema theatre and editing booths.
Meanwhile, construction students will be able to use a life-sized ‘eco bungalow’ to learn environmentally-friendly building skills.
They will have access to traditional methods, as well as new techniques such as installing buildings with rain water harvesting systems.
Young engineers will be able to use cutting-edge tools such as 3D printers.
Sir Bill said he was ‘honoured and humbled’ at the decision to name the building after him.
He said: “I just see myself as someone who grew up in a Birmingham council house, so I am really honoured.
“It is humbling, too. I had a single mum who worked as a shop girl, but when I went to school there were all these amazing opportunities and inspirational people.
“I came to Blackburn as a young youth worker and I have always viewed each young person as another Bill Taylor - got potential and just needs a chance.
“The Futures Centre is just amazing. It is an incredible opportunity for the young people around here.
“Long gone are the days of old fashioned buildings. We are really moving into the 21st century and it is exciting.”
Principal Ian Clinton said the new centre had been created after speaking with employers about the kind of skills they needed in the workplace.
He said: “The opening of the centre is an exciting development for Blackburn College and University Centre at Blackburn College.
“More importantly, it is a statement of the university and college’s clear commitment to expanding the support we give to business locally, regionally and increasingly, nationally and internationally.
“Our track record to date is of success, high outcomes and win-win for both individuals and businesses.”
The centre covers an internal area of 2,866 square metres and contains in excess of 30 teaching spaces, five laboratories and three electrical workshops.
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