BOURNEMOUTH & Poole College staff and students welcomed the leader of the Liberal Democrats on Monday and showed her around their facilities.

Jo Swinson MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats, was joined by Layla Moran, spokesperson for education for the Liberal Democrats, for a tour of Bournemouth & Poole College’s North Road site in Poole, while the Liberal Democrats were visiting Bournemouth for their autumn conference.

Diane Grannell, the college’s principal and CEO, opened the meeting by discussing some of the aims and opportunities that the college provides the region with.

She said:

“I think it’s indicative of the increasingly high level of importance that all political parties are placing on further education. They are looking to our sector as we will be providing young people with the skills for the future, while delivering the government’s Industrial Strategy.”

Jo Swinson and Layla Moran then met some apprentices from Aim Altitude in the engineering department and Sunseeker apprentices in the Marine Technology Department.

The young people they met are either currently enrolled at the college or have progressed into employment with the help of the college, following their time in education.

As Jo Swinson was being shown around Bournemouth and Poole College, other Lib Dem MPs and Lords and councillors met with Bacta to discuss the importance of regenerating seaside towns such as Bournemouth.

The British Amusement Catering Trade Association invited representatives from the Liberal Democrats to Key West on Bournemouth Pier to discuss Bacta’s 'manifesto' and their ‘six steps to seaside success’.

Chief executive of Bacta John White said: “Coastal towns have had it pretty tough over the last couple of years. The way in which we as a country have neglected the seaside has meant that seaside towns have been left behind.”

The six steps that Bacta mentioned included prioritising investing in local transport and connectivity in seaside towns and moving to a local based development programme.

John continues: “The government have talked about improving the funding that seaside towns will receive, and the amusement industry is a major contributor. If you are thinking about improving the coastal areas, then improving the amusement industry in these areas will help.”