THE DUKE of York will visit Burnley next week to officially open the town’s £10.3million University Technical College (UTC).

Prince Andrew will meet bosses from the Visions Learning Trust, which runs the college, and unveil a plaque at the newly-regenerated Victoria Mill in Trafalgar Street.

The college, which welcomed its first intake of 74 students last August, is the first of its kind in Lancashire, mixing academic teaching with vocational courses.

Prince Andrew was last in East Lancashire in December 2012, when he attended a ceremony marking Nelson and Colne College’s STEM assured status in a visit postponed from October.

Martin Callagher, managing director of the UTC, said he would be ‘honoured and delighted’ to welcome the Duke to Burnley.

He said: “Our students are really looking forward to meeting him and showing him the projects they are working on.

“We deliver a new and innovative way of learning for 14 to 19-year-olds who wish to study towards a career in engineering or construction.

“These are areas in which the UK is likely to see a skills gap unless efforts are made to encourage and develop young people with the correct aptitude.

“The Duke is a great ambassador for enterprise-focused education and we are excited about introducing him to our talented students who I am sure will make a great impression on our royal guest.”

The Mayor of Burnley, Councillor Frank Cant, said it was a great chance to show off the wider £100m Weavers’ Triangle redevelopment along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

He said: “The Duke’s brother, The Prince of Wales, has become a regular visitor to Burnley and I know our town is close to his heart and we hope the Duke will feel the same affinity.

“This visit will be an opportunity for the Duke of York to see Burnley’s historic heart and the transformations underway to transform it in to a modern centre for education, leisure and business uses.”