A MAJOR new building project to expand the services offered by Burnley College is taking shape with key assistance from industry leaders.

College bosses, under their Themis partnership, should complete work on extra space for its Centre of Engineering Excellence and Construction Learning and Training Centre, at the Princess Way campus, in time for a September launch.

And local employers have been giving crucial input into how the new extension, in the shadow of the town’s railway viaduct, should be kitted out.

Kris Mercer from Darwen- based WEC Group said: “The expansion of the Centre of Engineering Excellence will give our apprentices the opportunity to train with the latest engineering technology. This will give the college one of the finest engineering training facilities in the UK.”

The centre will play host to new advanced manufacturing equipment, including a 3D printer and ‘Faro Arm’ with laser line scanning.

And the development is also scheduled to boast new workshops and training zones, a state-of-the-art CAD/CAM drawing suite, a composite materials clean-room, aircraft fitting and sheet-metal sections and a viewing gallery.

College bosses say the initiative will address a ‘skills shortage’ in advanced manufacturing, amid growing demand for engineering learning and the creation of new skilled recruits.

Contributions from local employers have been ‘instrumental’ in the new centre’s development, according to the institution, and ensured it is suitably equipped to meet the demands of a modern workplace.