New centre will shine a light on growing importance of digital careers

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“Lockdown has highlighted the growing importance of the digital sector, so the opening of our new ‘Tech Campus’ is perfect timing, as it will help shine a light on careers in this fantastic industry. I think now more than ever we are going to need skilled people who can work in the IT and associated industries.”

That is the view of Mary Gleave, the Vice Principal of Suffolk New College, who is leading on the building of the project and overseeing the development of a new £2.4m state of the art digital training facility that will open in September this year. The project is supported by £1.6m from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

The campus will be able to teach around 80 students at a time in subjects that include Creative Media, Cyber Security, ESPORTS, Games Design, Information Technology and a brand new T-level course in Digital Production, Design and Development will also be taught in the building.

Amanda Winnick is a Director of Curriculum at Suffolk New College. She is leading on the creation of a course programme and curriculum that will be taught at the Tech Campus. She said, “This will be a world class facility that will have the wow factor. We will have a motion capture room and a designated area that will look to train potential international ESPORTS stars of the future.

“We have had the support to build this technology campus from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (£1.6m) and for that we are very thankful.

“The courses and training will replicate how industry works as we want to ensure that we deliver a curriculum that will help people get skills for jobs, in roles that employers need.

“We want our students to aspire to want to use this building and we are mindful of the fact that the community should also have access to the space as well. We also want to bring industry into the building to contribute to the delivery and direction of our curriculum and develop the next generation of talent.”

Situated a stones throw away from the main campus of the college in Ipswich, architects are predicting that the building – that will be housed on the corner of Dove Street and Rope Walk – will be a valuable addition to the education sector in the region.

Project manager for the building is Paul Ruffell from Ingleton Wood. He said, “It will be a cutting edge building that will provide a great place to study and train for people looking to get into the digital sector.

“Therefore, we are delighted to be working with such a well-respected local college, to deliver a high profile project for the region.”

The building will also be sensitive to the environment by being designed and constructed to achieve a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating.” (BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).

Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It’s great to see progress being made on the Tech Campus ahead of its planned opening in September. It will be a fantastic asset for Suffolk New College to boost the digital skills of its students for the benefit of local businesses.

“Digital skills are in huge demand by employers in all sectors so it’s important that leading-edge facilities are in place to provide first-class training for local young people and the wider workforce.”

Principal of Suffolk New College, Viv Gillespie, said, “Using  investment from the College, together with funding support from the LEP, we are creating the  new Tech Campus.  We want young people to be attracted to this vibrant hub for digital careers, as well as offering training to up-skill the workforce of local companies in current and emerging technologies. Together with the University of Suffolk DigiHub project at Martlesham, we will bring a focus on how important the Tech sector is to the local area.”

For more details about the project and the courses that will be on offer, including T-levels visit  https://tech.suffolk.ac.uk

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