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Milton Keynes College unveils new technology centre

'Bloodhound' with Wing Commander Andy Green and Dr. Julie Mills
Image caption Dr Julie Mills welcomed Bloodhound and driver Wing Commander Andy Green at the centre opening

A new £6.5m innovation and technology centre has been officially unveiled by Milton Keynes College.

It covers 5,200 sq m and houses the college's engineering, manufacturing and construction students.

There are eight open-plan workshops, bays for plumbing, gas training, welding, and carpentry and two courtyard construction sites.

The centre includes an area where students will be able to build an entire two-storey house.

College principal Dr Julie Mills said: "It is our aim that the centre will be the focal point of engineering delivery in Milton Keynes and meet the needs of the city's engineering, manufacturing and construction employers."

'Engineers of tomorrow'

The centre was made possible after Milton Keynes Council transferred the former Cottesloe school building to the college and contributed £1.5m towards the project, as part of its 14-19 diploma investment programme.

The balance of the cost was covered by a £4m investment by the college itself and £574,000 from central government.

Special guest at the opening was world land speed record holder Wing Commander Andy Green, who brought with him a replica of the jet-powered Bloodhound, the supersonic car in which he hopes to beat his own record in 2013.

Image caption The new innovation and technology centre at Milton Keynes College cost £6.5m

He said: "The need to inspire the next generation with the wonders of technology is at the very heart of the Bloodhound Project, so I'm delighted that we have been invited to support this initiative."

Vice principal Rob Jones said the college was trying to inspire people to get into science and technology to meet the needs of those companies already thriving in the area, such as the Red Bull racing team.

"Milton Keynes has a rich heritage of engineering and manufacturing, there are some amazing companies out there, and we're just linking up the engineers of tomorrow with the companies that are being really successful in the city at the moment."

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