A BOURNEMOUTH university college has invested £4.5 million investment in a new clinical rehabilitation centre and specialist equipment.

AECC University College's new 'flagship' building is being built on the second campus enabling it to extend its rehabilitation facilities.

The college is a specialist health sciences university, which offers education, research, clinical and consultancy services in a range of areas including: ‘chiropractic, physiotherapy, psychology, sports, exercise and health science, radiology and imaging sciences.’

The university's clinic and imaging facilities have over 50,000 patient contacts per year.

The new facility will be open to the public from September 2022, and will allow the university college to add an even broader range of clinical and rehabilitation services to their current offering including physical and sport rehabilitation, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, dietetics and podiatry.

The first floor will have a reception, waiting room, changing room, three clinical treatment rooms and an open rehabilitation space which will have a number of zones including a space for free weights and high tech rehabilitation equipment.

The zoned space will see international athletes work alongside those who are returning to exercise.

Two large bifold doors will lead to a landscaped outside space, which the university plans to use to start teaching occupational therapy in 2023.

There will also be lift access to the second floor of the building which will have a small waiting area and a further six large clinical rooms.

The public will be able to use the new facilities through private providers, AECC's self-referral service and their partnership with the NHS and the Dorset CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group).

In the future, the university also has plans to partner with voluntary groups in the area.

Vice Chancellor of AECC University College, Professor Lesley Haig, said: "This is a state-of-the-art facility and a flagship development that will make AECC University College one of the national leaders in health sciences education and care – with its heart in the community of Boscombe."

Professor Haig added: "We are supporting Boscombe, Bournemouth and Dorset healthcare providers, working closely with our Dorset CCG partners to help support the healthcare system and provide community diagnostics. With the NHS experiencing additional pressure with Covid-19, we are able to help fill those gaps that we know exist in the system."

The new multi-million-pound state of the art facilities were enabled by a £2.7 million Getting Building Fund grant funding allocation by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). AECC University College will be providing additional funding towards the cost of the facilities and suite of courses and services that will be available to the community.

Dorset LEP secured £11.8 million of the government’s Getting Building Fund in 2020, set up in response to economic challenges of the pandemic. The new facility at the AECC University College is one of nine projects supported by Dorset LEP through this fund.