Published date 6 September 2021

Cutting Edge: Metro Mayor’s ribbon cutting signals opening of £7m learning centre

Metro Mayor at an unveiling

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris cut the ribbon to formally open the brand new £7 million Brunel Centre on Saturday 4 September, ready for students to enrol and begin studying there two days later.

The South Gloucestershire and Stroud College Centre in Stoke Gifford has sustainability and student wellbeing at the heart of its design. It will be used by learners aged 16 – 19 for a range of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Media courses.

With high ceilings and exposed timber interior walls, the whole building has been designed to improve the health and mind-set of those studying within this cutting edge learning environment.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “This is a great building, with a great name. I know the next generation of world leading engineers, scientists, technicians and creatives are raring to go. Our young people will shape all our futures, so there’s nothing more important than providing what’s needed to help them unlock their true potential. I visited this wonderful new learning centre earlier this year when it was still being built – and loved the bright, airy space. It’s so exciting it is now ready for the students. This is exactly the type of facility where their talents can be nurtured, and their confidence can soar. What an amazing place to be able to study.”

The building has been funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority.

Richard Bonner, Chair of the West of England LEP, said: “We are proud to support the purpose-built Brunel Centre and help people to acquire the skills and qualifications they need for our changing workplaces. This brilliant new facility will inspire the next generation with their future careers and help to protect and secure jobs by providing opportunities for many people across the West of England, as we work together to secure our region’s economic recovery.”

The Brunel Centre forms part of the South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS) WISE Campus.

SGS Group Chief Executive, Kevin Hamblin said: “I am delighted that the West of England Metro Mayor opened this new centre for high tech skills at SGS College. The build will provide increased capacity in the area for the next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers, and creatives and inspire them to push harder to achieve their educational goals. Credit must be given to the West of England Combined Authority who had the foresight and confidence to make this investment, as it will provide a world class environment for another 400 students a year to study at SGS.”

Sara-Jane Watkins, SGS College Principal added: “Bristol and the West of England are booming in terms of digital Media and the Brunel building will help provide the much-needed supply of talented new recruits to this vibrant sector with our Media, Film and TV, visual effects and animation programmes.

“The facilities include a new industry standard TV studio where we will be working with sector leaders in order to develop future presenters, producers and digital content editors, plus as one of the nation’s top colleges in sport, we are also incredibly fortunate to have one of the leading Sports Media programmes which combines our first-class media resources with access to top professional sports teams that train from WISE including Bristol City Women’s, Bath City and the Bristol Flyers so our students have the resources to become leaders in the field of sports-related media productions including sports journalism.

“The development of Brunel has also enabled us to launch our new provision in Esports with our state-of-the-art gaming arena where learners will be able to combine their skills in Esports, business, media, & games design enabling them to develop their entrepreneurial skills and their own brand and content.

“We are really excited about the talent that Brunel is going to enable to develop and the impact that our future learners will have across the region.”

Future learners can experience the industry leading Brunel Centre for themselves by signing up to attend one of SGS College’s upcoming Open Events. Details can be viewed here

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