Open for busi­ness

New £30m college wel­comes first stu­dents to town

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

Stu­dents have signed up for their cour­ses af­ter a multi-mil­lion pound college cam­pus opened its doors in the town cen­tre.

Ash­ford College, run by the Had­low Group, has opened its new cam­pus in El­wick Road af­ter sell­ing its site in Jem­mett Road in a £30 mil­lion deal.

It is set to pro­vide cour­ses for more than 1,000 stu­dents and will pro­vide em­ploy­ment to 100 staff mem­bers from the site.

Fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a mul­ti­me­dia learn­ing re­source cen­tre, live mu­sic pro­duc­tion, pho­tog­ra­phy and art stu­dios, teach­ing kitchens, and a hair and beauty sa­lon.

Last week Ash­ford MP Damian Green toured the college along with Kent In­victa Cham­ber of Com­merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Jo James.

Mr Green said: “It’s great to look round the new build­ing and see not only the great mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties that are here for the ex­ten­sive range of cour­ses, but also to see how ben­e­fi­cial it will be for the town and com­mu­nity.

“Its lo­ca­tion en­sures it will be a bea­con to show the op­por­tu­ni­ties pro­vided for the peo­ple of Ash­ford, im­prov­ing the ed­u­ca­tional of­fer we can give young peo­ple in the town and in other parts of Kent.

“It also pre­sents great op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal busi­nesses, who will find a pool of skilled peo­ple train­ing to do the jobs of the fu­ture, peo­ple that we will need to fill va­can­cies as the town’s econ­omy ex­pands and pros­pers.”

The build­ing is the first of the coun­cil’s “big eight” projects to be com­pleted, and will of­fer young­sters cour­ses in sub­jects in­clud­ing health and so­cial care, con­struc­tion, elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing, early years care, mu­sic, fash­ion, cater­ing and hos­pi­tal­ity, hair­dress­ing and more.

Mrs James said: “The cour­ses on of­fer sat­isfy the needs of lo­cal busi­nesses and I think the college will work closely with the busi­ness com­mu­nity to help with lo­cal eco­nomic growth and em­ploy­ment.”

Had­low group’s deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Lums­don-Tay­lor said: “We are de­lighted to be en­rolling our first in­take of stu­dents. The college is a sym­bol for the sig­nif­i­cant re­gen­er­a­tion of the town.

“I’d like to praise the co-op­er­a­tion, help, ad­vice and sup­port re­ceived from the coun­cil. It has been a su­perb ex­am­ple of sec­tors work­ing to­gether ef­fec­tively to ful­fil a much-needed project.”

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM4910076/ FM4910096/ FM4910090/ FM4910089

Chloe Day, 17, and Talia Scays­brook, 16, sign­ing up for busi­ness stud­ies, with Shin­nai Gayle, who will be study­ing on a beauty course; the CAD suite; Ash­ford MP Damian Green and Kent In­victa Cham­ber of Com­merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Jo James visit the college; in­set left and right, stu­dents fill out the en­rol­ment forms

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM4910083

Ceri-Anne Jenk­ins, with her mum Emma, en­rolling on the busi­ness stud­ies course

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM4910100

Staff on hand to help and ad­vise

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