Creating engineering leaders of the future

The Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Centre – the first of its kind in Cumbria – is a £4million state-of-the-art training facility on the Channelside campus.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Centre – the first of its kind in Cumbria – is a £4million state-of-the-art training facility on the Channelside campus.

The facility has classroom space for up to 450 higher education students and 1,150 apprentices on science, technology and engineering apprenticeships and HNC and degree programmes in engineering manufacturing and electrical and electronic engineering. The aim is to help more local people gain the qualifications they needed to access new jobs being created in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, nuclear and biopharmaceuticals, as well as providing technology led businesses with a supply of skilled staff. 

New equipment ranges from a rapid prototyping machine and latest five-axis CAD/CAM machines to a high-tech Faro scanarm that uses laser technology to inspect and reverse engineer complex parts and surfaces into a 3D model, suite of new 3D printers and virtual welding machine. Upstairs, there is a learning hub, classrooms and IT suites.

The centre will help meet the growing demand locally for highly-skilled workers by enabling students to develop skills on real-life projects for companies ranging from major employers to SMEs. Students will have access to the latest high-tech equipment and machinery, a metrology lab for the study of materials, learning hub, CAD classrooms and industrial-size workshop.

It has been funded with £1.43m through the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and £750,000 funding from the HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) catalyst fund.

It was opened by the chairman of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership George Beveridge as part of the area’s ten-year strategic economic plan.

Principal and Chief Executive of Furness College Andrew Wren said the college has a strong track record of excellent education in engineering, which has been recognised with an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted grade.  “This innovative new centre will strengthen what we can offer by providing an inspirational learning space and make a significant contribution to the economy by working with employers to help upskill as well as attracting new apprentices to the profession.”

It was built by Thomas Armstrong Ltd, designed by Harrison Pitt Architects and project managed by Bushell Raven.

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