Shrewsbury College’s Engineering and Automotive Centre officially reopens with nearly £1m of new state-of-the-art equipment

May 19, 2017

Shrewsbury College’s Engineering Department welcomed a host of special guests at its re-launch today, when nearly a million pounds of state-of-the-art equipment was unveiled to help train the engineers of tomorrow.
Shrewsbury College, part of the Shrewsbury Colleges Group (which includes Shrewsbury Sixth Form College), secured nearly £500,000 from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership via its Growth Deal with Government to develop one of three advanced manufacturing training hubs in the region. The College put a further £250,000 towards the project and has received gifts from a number of other companies, including Status Metrology, who gifted £100,000 towards metrology equipment and software for the College. The total value of new equipment and software for the department totals around £1m.
Head of Engineering, Andrew Lee, said: “The College entered into a robust employer consultation followed by a highly competitive bidding process to achieve the funding from the LEP, to which we have added a further £250,000 ourselves.
“The areas of investment have been specifically selected to meet the local and regional employment training needs, providing specialist equipment for training in 3D CAD/Modelling, Advanced CNC/Machining, Fabrication and Welding, Electronics, Robotics, Manufacturing, CMM, Mechatronic Engineering and Automotive Engineering (in response the new training requirement for MOT testers).
“The result of this funding is that we have become one of the largest and best-equipped engineering and automotive centres in the region. The investment has already had a big impact on the department. We have entered several students into the WorldSkills UK 2017 competition who have been training on the new equipment. Our relationships and partnerships with local businesses have strengthened and we have increased the number and type of Apprenticeships we are offering both local and multi-national companies, to enable them to train engineers with advanced skills to best suit their developing business needs.”
To celebrate the investment and re-launch, a plaque was officially unveiled today by LEP Director Gill Hamer, who talked about the context of the funding and why engineering is a LEP priority.
Invited guests ranged from employers, qualification awarding bodies, manufacturers and suppliers, including Staffordshire University, Caterpillar Shrewsbury Ltd, Cargotec, IMI, City and Guilds, Shropshire Business Board, IMECE, Made in the Midlands, Harper Adams University, Ricoh UK producers Ltd, Halfords Autocentres, NFEC, Salop Design and Engineering Ltd, Doncasters, Castalum, RMT Garage Services Ltd, HAAS Automation, FESTO, Greenhous and JT Hughes.
Gill Hamer said: “Manufacturing employers across the Marches are telling us that a lack of people with the right skills is a barrier to business. It is also a barrier to the economic growth of this region.
“Working with businesses, we have developed an advanced manufacturing skills project to fund the development of three training centres in our region to meet employer demand. The Growth Deal funding for the Shrewsbury College centre will see more than 180 businesses directly supported and the creation of more than 450 Apprenticeships.”
Principal and CEO of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, James Staniforth, said: “This fantastic investment in our facilities puts us in the unique position of being able to offer students a range of courses from basic introductory levels, through to degrees, Apprenticeships and bespoke training, which meets individual company needs.
“We are extremely grateful to all our partners who have enabled us to make such a significant investment, both our excellent employer partners and particularly the Marches LEP. We are delighted that we will now be in an even better position to meet employer need and help our forward-thinking LEP achieve its aims for economic growth.
“This collaborative project will enable us to meet the business and student needs in many varied engineering disciplines and qualifications. It’s an exciting day in the history of the College, and cements its place as the leading training provider for the region.”
For more information about studying at Shrewsbury College, visit or call 01743 342342. Alternatively you can follow the College on Facebook: shrewsburycollege Instagram: shrewsbury_college and Twitter: @shrewsburycol.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

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The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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