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Bacup's 'perfect' new £200k college campus
10:34am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in News
A NEW £200,000 East Lancashire college campus welcomed its first intake of students yesterday.
The Vocational Learning Centre in Bacup’s Stubbylee Park is a joint venture between Accrington and Rossendale College (Accross) and also Rossendale Council, specialising in courses in construction and engineering.
Purpose-built workshops and classrooms have been created within the confines of a barn formerly used as a council storage unit, with up to 150 students expected to use the site every week.
Darren Eccles, head of technical services at Accross, said the facilities showed the college’s commitment to the Valley.
He said: “We have been wanting to enhance our prov-ision in Rossendale for a while now. The motorcycle course is almost full on levels one and two and there has been a great show of interest from people in their twenties.”
Among the excited diploma students enrolling on their first day was 36-year-old Samantha Sturdy from Nelson.
She said: “I’ve always been interested in bikes and bought my first one six months ago. I come from a background in voluntary and care work but this is a chance for me to learn and gain a qualification.”
Robert Whewell, 20, from Waterfoot, said having the course on his doorstep was ‘perfect’ for him. He said: “I already work doing sponsorship for British Superbikes.
“But this gives me a chance to broaden my knowledge.”
Coun Andrew MacNae, the portfolio holder for rege-neration, tourism and leisure at Rossendale Council said: “It is in a superb location.
”And it provides a fantastic opportunity for young people across Rossendale to access the training and to develop skills needed to get on in the work-place.”
Principal Stephen Carlisle said: “The learning enviro-nment is ideal, both being on the doorstep of learners and being in one of the most beautiful envir-onments in Pennine Lan-cashire.”