Up to 130 students a year for £3.2m Chatteris training centre

Chatteris training centre handed over

L-R Andrew Swift (WSC), Ean Daniel (WSC), Austen Adams (Metalcraft), Alex Bevan (Metalcraft), Debbie Barton (WSC), Ari George (Metalcraft), Stephen Barclay MP, Toby Lambert (Metalcraft), Laraine Moody (WSC), Luis Webb (Metalcraft), Martin Johnson (Metalcraft), Neil Kirby (Metalcraft), Martin Lawrence (Metalcraft) and Kayleigh Elmer (WSC) celebrate the handover of the buildings that will form the North Cambridgeshire Training College. - Credit: Metalcraft

A training centre at Chatteris built with £3.2m from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has been handed over to West Suffolk College.  

The centre has been built on land owned by Stainless Metalcraft and the funding – originally agreed by Mayor James Palmer – was confirmed by incoming Mayor Dr Nik Johnson when he took office a year ago. 

NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay raised the funding commitment when he became the first Cambridgeshire MP to call on the new mayor.  

Dr Johnson approved continuation of the scheme, joining Mr Barclay when work began on the site last August.  

“There is already a fine manufacturing and engineering heritage in this region, exemplified by Stainless Metalcraft, and this centre will help one of the Combined Authority’s priority industry sectors continue to thrive into the 21st Century,” said Mayor Johnson.  

On Friday a ceremony was held to mark the transfer of the North Cambridgeshire Training Centre into the management of West Suffolk College.  

The college, part of the Eastern Colleges Group, provides introductory training to Higher Level apprenticeships for between 80 and 130 students a year.  

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The college says the range of courses will be informed by demand from local businesses, with priority areas including advanced manufacturing and engineering. 

There will also be a focus on future skills training including robotics, automation and composite materials manufacturing. 

Martin Lawrence, commercial director at Stainless Metalcraft, said: “Having trained our own apprentices for over 100 years and with over 50 per cent of our employees being home grown, Metalcraft is a keen advocate of apprenticeships as an accessible route into long-term, rewarding careers. “ 

West Suffolk College will be responsible for the management of the centre; providing technical, virtual and hands-on training, as well as building relationships with local employers and the community. 

Laraine Moody of West Suffolk College said: “There is clearly significant demand for high quality training to be delivered in Fenland and the take up of apprenticeships and professional development courses to start in September is amazing.”  

Mr Barclay said: “There can be no better example of what the Government means by levelling up than the £3.2 million new state of the art skills centre nearing completion in Chatteris.”