Weston College’s new Health and Active Living Skills Centre was officially opened today (Wednesday 8 January). The multi-million flagship facility is based at the College’s Loxton Campus and is set to inspire and educate new generations of students to enter the health and active sectors.
The aim of the bespoke facility is to provide learners with knowledge of the healthcare and sport sectors as well as vital industry skills. The centre brings together the College’s health and social care, sports therapy and active living courses into one facility, which will benefit students, businesses and the wider community.
The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) contributed £5.4 million towards the project through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority.
Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “With so many leading sports teams and top notch medical facilities in the West of England to inspire people, I’m pleased that Weston College’s new centre will be able to give those people the skills they need to start and progress their careers right here in the West of England.”
Prof Steve West, Chair of the West of England LEP, said: “We need to train more people for future careers in our hospitals and community services – this new skills centre will improve the quality of care and improve people’s lives. With more highly qualified professionals, and with people trained in a wider range of disciplines, people will be better cared for.”
The official opening was marked by an event held at the Centre, where key industry and community figures were invited to hear how the facility had been devised through a partnership approach. The audience heard from Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive, Weston College, Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, Pat Lam, Director of Rugby, Bristol Bears and Robert Woolley, Chief Executive, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.
The guests were then given a tour of the facility by students including skills demonstrations in the simulation room and science laboratories.
The Health and Active Living Skills Centre features a state-of-the-art training hospital ward, science laboratories, a full size 3G pitch, a full size rugby pitch, a multi-gym and a sports hall. Dr Paul Phillips, CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group, said: “This outstanding new training centre is the latest step in our drive to provide students with the very best learning facilities and resources.
“We have worked with key business partners to ensure that the Health and Active Living Skills Centre will tackle the current skills shortage in the sector and address the longer-term issues that affect our health service and the health of the local population.”