BOURNEMOUTH and Poole College has announced an ‘ambitious’ strategy as it opens its new University Campus.

College principal, Phil Sayles, and mayor of Poole, Councillor Pete Miles, cut the ribbon to officially unveil the new £1.2million facility.

This will offer state-of-the-art learning environments for those studying degree-level qualifications at the college.

Earlier, Mr Sayles outlined the college’s strategic plan to 2030, as it aims to ‘create the skilled workforce of the future’.

This included unveiling the ambition to build a new centre of excellence in sustainable construction.

Mr Sayles said current construction training facilities at the college are ‘just not good enough’ in ‘ageing’ 1950s buildings, despite the ‘amazing work’ and ‘great outcomes’ achieved there.

He said: “I am determined that people from this area should have the opportunity to have careers in this great industry and that we can see the benefits of their labour kept and spent in our communities.

“Achieving future capital investment for a new centre of excellence in sustainable construction skills at Bournemouth and Poole College for the BCP area is one of my most important targets for the rest of this decade.”

(Image: Bournemouth and Poole College)

Senior members of staff from across the college spoke at the event, as well as representatives from Bournemouth University, Arts University Bournemouth and AECC University College, speaking about their partnerships with the college.

BCP Council chief executive Graham Farrant also spoke about the importance of the higher education institutions bringing people to the town and getting them to stay in the area.

Mr Sayles said the college brings £32million of government funding into the area, educating 3,000 16 to 18-year-olds, more than 2,000 apprentices and 4,000 adult learners every year.

The college’s strategy to 2030 will see it aim to be at the core of educational delivery and economic development in the region, creating the skilled workforce of the future.

It also aspires to be a respected leader, partner and contributor to life in the area and to be the first-choice training partner for businesses to upskill their workers.

The college celebrated the foundations it has laid in the past years as it aims to transform its facilities into world-class learning environments.

This has begun with the redevelopment of the college’s Bournemouth campus, with the construction of a new £36million building.