Burnley College in talks over renewable energy school plan

COLLEGE bosses are looking to launch one of the country’s first schools for renewable energy.

Land underneath Burnley Viaduct has been earmarked for the pioneering venture, next to the main £81million Burnley College and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) building.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said the college was in talks for ‘multi-million pounds’ of Government funding.

He said: “Burnley College is already a really advanced college with around 3,000 young people going there and this will be another major boost for the town.

“The college has applied for Government funding and I will be happy to help put the case across as the town's MP.

“It will be a multi-million pound building. I know the designs for it are absolutely top notch. It will be an amazing building.”

College leaders have been in talks to secure a 1,455 square metre site, between Royle Road and the Ashfield Road viaduct, for the scheme.

And town hall bosses have given the green light to Phil Moore, head of finance and property management, to reach terms over the deal.

Land for the original college building was obtained from the borough council in a similar deal in 2006 and 2007, when a municipal works depot made way for the educational establishment.

In an executive report, councillors were told: “The land is required to facilitate the development of a renewable energy centre, adjacent to the main college building, which will enable the college to offer new educational courses to students based on renewable energy technology.”

Mr Birtwistle said: “Renewable energy is a real growing sector so to have the first school for renewable energy in Burnley would be fantastic. It would be another first for the town.

“It is also an innovative scheme and an innovative building and it will be fantastic for Burnley if it goes ahead.”

The college is already signed up as the north-west partner for the government’s Green Deal and trains up advisors to offer environmental support to homes and businesses.

It is also a National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies accredited training provider and works with leading industry lights such as Worcester Borsch and LED Electrics.

Earlier this year, principal Hugh Bramwell and Shelagh Derwent, governors chairman, outlined a series of ecological schemes being introduced at the Princess Way campus.

These include the installation of 600 solar panels on the college roof, and a number of charging points for electric vehicles.

Power is already provided for the college’s gatehouse by a ‘green wall’, a solar device.

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