A MULTI-MILLION pound revamp of Petroc’s Barnstaple campus has been unveiled.
Petroc has spent £4 million completely revamping block C of the campus, as well as having two brand new buildings, and a new roof and extra space in the sports hall.
The college has had more than 5,000 square metres of classroom and internal space remodelled and re-equipped.
The brand new specialist facility, The Liberty Centre, has been built to cater for supported learning students.
Kevin Hazell, head of school of Health, Fitness and Supported Learning said the new centre has provided a great environment for both staff and students.
“The new centre will allow us to focus on the employability of our students with disabilities.
“Only 3.6% of people with disabilities are in employment in North Devon, that is one of the lowest in the country, the average is around 18%.”
“We are hoping that by working closely with local businesses, the skills and experience we can teach them here will change that.
“We want to give them the skills to go out and supply the community with what it needs.”
A new animal care centre has also been built at the college, which has allowed it to launch a new animal care and animal management course, which reached its limit of 70 enrolled students this year.
The animal centre currently has rooms that house reptiles, small rodents, rabbits and guinea pigs, and is set to expand to include a Blue Cross cattery and a dog grooming centre.
John Hardy, programme leader for the new animal care and management unit, said it was great to be able to finally run a course like this from Petroc.
“Any students who wanted to study animal care had to previously go to colleges like Duchy in Cornwall, it’s really exciting to have the facilities available here.”
The Liberty Centre was officially opened this afternoon in front of students, staff, councillors and those who have helped fund the revamp.
Matthew Newing, one of the students to cut the ribbon of the centre said he was really enjoying learning in his new environment.
“It was really good to be able to open The Liberty Centre, it was very exciting.
“It’s a lot bigger in here now and much more modern.”
Neil Hookway, director of resources for Petroc said that the new facilities would put Petroc at the fore-front of modern learning.
“Learning environment plays a huge role in students development, and we wanted to ensure we give students an inspiring space.
“The feedback we have had so far has been amazing, and we are excited about the projects that The Liberty Centre will allow us to offer.”