Denbighshire County Council has given the green light for the development of a state-of-the art Engineering Centre of Excellence at Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhyl Campus.
Planning permission was granted yesterday (10 November), meaning that work will soon start on the new £11.2m centre which will become a hub for delivering world-class education and training for the engineering sector.
The centre will enable learners to develop skills supporting the future needs of industry, including those critical to the renewable energy sector, additive manufacturing and the digital transformation of industry.
A new Institute for Renewable Energy Technology will be part of the new development providing the opportunity for learners from across the region to upskill, retrain and be part of this sector which is set to grow exponentially.
This development has been supported by RWE Renewables, Wales’ number one renewable energy generator which generates enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of over 600,000 typical homes in Wales, and is developing the Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm on the doorstep of the college.
RWE has had a long and positive relationship with the Coleg, having established its offshore wind technician apprentice programme at the facility. Most recently, RWE has piloted the Coleg as its national apprentice training hub, to support apprentices from around the country who have gone on to secure roles with the company’s offshore wind fleet, including in North Wales.
RWE UK Country Chair Tom Glover said: “RWE has pioneered the growth of offshore wind in North Wales, and has worked closely with the college for many years during that time, most notably establishing an award-winning offshore wind technician apprenticeship programme and training hub.
“So, we are naturally delighted to see the expansion of the college into a centre of engineering excellence with a strong future focus on renewable energy, as it looks to continue its role in developing the next generation of highly skilled experts that will drive the future of our industry.”
Local school pupils will also be able to access the centre to get a head start in their training for jobs of the future.
Lawrence Wood, Coleg Llandrillo Principal said: “We are extremely happy that Denbighshire County Council has given us the go ahead to bring this fantastic facility and centre of excellence in the field of engineering to our Rhyl Campus.
“The new development will provide learners in the region the ability to learn and train with the latest technology in a state-of-the-art learning environment. This will stand them in good stead to pursue well-paid careers in industries such as power generation, and advanced manufacturing.
“My vision for this centre is that it operates in partnership with industry, providing people with the skills required to support economic growth and innovation in the sector in North Wales.”
The proposed Centre of Excellence at the Coleg Llandrillo, Rhyl Campus is part of a wider, Grŵp-wide £90m strategy to modernise its education and training facilities, with the establishment of high quality Centres of Excellence at the heart of that strategy.
Dafydd Evans, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai Chief Executive explained: “Our modernisation plans are closely aligned with the priority growth sectors identified by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board.
“Developing additional Centres of Excellence in key locations, such as Rhyl, will allow us to further refine our bespoke, industry-targeted provision to improve our learners’ career prospects and support the wider economy.”