Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP – Opens Skills Centre

Opening of Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater College

A state-of-the-art facility for teaching sustainable energy techniques and alternative energy innovations was formally opened last week by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP.

The Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater College is the first of its kind in the South West and forms a key part of plans to deliver the region’s economic and skills development objectives. It represents an £8 million investment by funders EDF Energy, the National Skills Academy (Nuclear), the South West Regional Development Agency and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Further industry support has been provided in the form of sponsorship from EnergySolutions and the Kier Group. Sedgemoor District Council has also supported the project through the donation of the land on which the Centre is built.

The Energy Skills Centre reinforces the position of Bridgwater College as one of the leading training providers for the nuclear and sustainable energy sectors. The 2800 m2 facility has been designed to meet the growing demand for training in science and engineering from local employers. The facilities include a 550 m2, two storey high Realistic Work Environment (RWE), complete with 3.2 tonne full traverse overhead gantry crane, which will be used to provide a range of specialist training and simulated experiences of real working environments; a 270 m2, two storey high engineering workshop housing a range of heavy machinery; a 155 m2 welding workshop with 18 welding booths; two state-of-the-art science laboratories; a nuclear analytical workshop; an engineering maintenance laboratory; an instrumentation and control laboratory; a Computer Aided Design suite and a Computer Numerical Control room, as well as a 40 seater conference room with video conferencing facilities and a café.