National Skills Academy hub gets state-of-the-art makeover

The Sir Bill Taylor Futures Centre, named after the college’s chairman of the board and former leader of Blackburn and Darwen Council, was opened on Friday 13th September. Costing £7m, the centre includes a replica eco-house for students on National Skills Academy environmental technology courses, advanced manufacturing workshops, a TV studio, radio station and a cinema.

The facilities have enabled Blackburn College, with the support of the National Skills Academy, to extend its existing built environment curriculum to include; solar PV, solar thermal, heat pump and rainwater harvesting training and assessment.

Cathryn Hickey, executive director of the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies, said, ‘The quality of the facilities available at Blackburn College is second to none, and are able to meet current and future delivery requirements in an exciting learning environment.

Officially opened by Blackburn College Principal and CEO Ian Clinton, guests at the launch event included local employers, press, dignitaries and the deputy mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Council.

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