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Funding confirmed for Medway UTC

by Jim Dunton Sat 25 January 2014, 11:00 am

Plans for the construction of a £10 million University Technical College (UTC) at Chatham Docks are set to progress, following confirmation from the government that it will fund the purchase of the preferred site.

The UTC, which will provide up to 600 14-19 year-olds with an education specialising in construction and engineering skills, is being sponsored by the University of Greenwich, MidKent College, Medway Council, BAE Systems, and other local employers and partners.

This week the University of Greenwich confirmed that the Department of Education had approved funding for the purchase of a 0.5 hectare site, which is part of  Peel Land and Property’s proposed Chatham Waters development.

Professor Alan Reed, the university’s director of regional development, said the decision paved the way for the UTC to open next year, subject to finalising the site acquisition with Peel and securing detailed planning permission.

“The £10 million new build will be in close proximity to the University of Greenwich, MidKent College and the Royal School of Military Engineering, thereby providing UTC students with easy access to the specialist facilities in engineering and construction available at these partners,” he said.

Reed added that a series of further public-consultation events would now be held over the coming weeks.

“An essential part of the development of the UTC is listening to the views of as wide a range of people as possible, to ensure that Medway UTC fully meets the needs of local young people, their families, employers and others.”

Medway Council leader Rodney Chambers said the UTC would help the area continue its “rich history” of construction and engineering for generations to come.

“The UTC will enable a degree of specialisation before the age of 16 that is currently unavailable, and it will engage and enthuse students," he said.

“It will also benefit local employers, which in turn will boost the local economy.”

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