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The Princess Royal opens Combined Authority-funded state of the art training centre in Chatteris


The Princess Royal opens Combined Authority-funded state of the art training centre in Chatteris

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal officially opened the North Cambridgeshire Training Centre (NCTC) in Chatteris on Wednesday (November 29)

The centre, funded by £3.16 million in Local Growth Funds from the Combined Authority Business Board, is run by the Eastern Education Group and was set up to support people of all ages to gain new skills to bolster their career prospects and contribute to the region.

HRH The Princess Royal meets local primary school students and G’s Fresh staff

The land where the NCTC is situated is owned by Stainless Metalcraft who were instrumental in the creation of the vision and the actual facility and secured funding from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

The Princess Royal met representatives from all organisations.

The state-of-the-art centre specialises in providing apprenticeships, professional development and commercial courses in engineering and advanced manufacturing but also delivers management, digital technologies, business support and health & social sciences, which are in high demand from local employers.

HRH The Princess Royal meets Nigel Roberts (Programme Tutor at West Suffolk College) and apprentices Josh Crane (G’s Fresh), Ewan Morgan (Zeiss) and Harry Talbot (Huxley Bertram)

During the visit, The Princess Royal was given a tour of the facilities by the Group Principal of University and Professional Development at the Eastern Education Group, Laraine Moody. HRH met and chatted to current engineering apprentices, met lecturers and programme leaders and local school children taking part in the Skills Escalator programme in conjunction with local businesses. The visit concluded with HRH unveiling a commemorative plaque in honour of the visit.

She met with Dr Nikos Savvas, CEO of the Eastern Education Group along with staff and students from this organisation.

HRH The Princess Royal unveiling the plaque with Dr Nikos Savvas (left) and Laraine Moody (right)

Dr Savvas said: “It is such an honour to have HRH Princess Royal with us today and to celebrate the opening of the North Cambridgeshire Training Centre.  Today is a truly momentous day for the region!  The centre will serve as an incredibly important place in the community, equipping the upcoming generations with the tools and knowledge necessary to thrive in their careers, contributing significantly to the local economy’s growth.”

The Princess Royal also met apprentices and staff from Stainless Metalcraft including, Austen Adams, Chairman of the North Cambridgeshire Place Development Board and divisional managing director of Avingtrans PLC’s Process Solutions and Rotating Equipment division, which is home to Stainless Metalcraft. Austen said: “We were thrilled to welcome HRH Princess Anne to Chatteris once again and delighted that she agreed to formally open the new centre.

“NCTC was created to address a gap in vocational training provision in Fenland, East Cambridgeshire and wider Cambridgeshire and aims to build on our heritage creating pathways into rewarding careers in engineering by opening up opportunities for local people to up-skill for careers across a variety of growth industries.

“It is an essential tool for the region’s economic development and the delivery of the project – from the initial idea to raising finance, getting spades in the ground and now today’s official opening – has required a huge amount of teamwork, enthusiasm and good will from a host of partners.                                                                                                                                 

“Today is the perfect opportunity to thank everyone involved for their part and we’re excited to showcase the new facility and welcome Her Royal Highness to join the celebrations.”

On the visit and hosting The Princess Royal, Laraine Moody, Group Principal of University and Professional Development at the Eastern Education Group said: ‘It was a great honour to meet The Princess Royal at the NCTC. She showed great awareness of the purpose of the centre and a real interest in how we support the local community. We were able to showcase the amazing facilities and introduce her to students and businesses who have already benefitted from the support created by the partnership with Stainless Metalcraft.

“As one of the largest training providers in the region, we have a strong track record developing the skills and talents of our students – from apprentices, entry level courses to higher education and targeted professional development.

“We are incredibly passionate about preparing people of all ages for employment and further study, working with industry partners to develop the skills required for the workplace and economic development and supporting the local community – so the profile of this visit was a fantastic opportunity for us spread the word far and wide in regards to the amazing work that we do.”

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said: “It’s a proud moment for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to have HRH, Princess Royal visit the region to open this fantastic, purpose-built training centre, funded by the Combined Authority’s Business Board, and already delivering quality apprenticeships and training in the heart of the Fens.

“The centre’s success so far has been based on great partnership working between Stainless Metalcraft, West Suffolk College and the Combined Authority. This visit is the icing on the cake for a centre that is going to help people into great careers, give employers in the area the skilled staff they need, and boost the local economy for decades to come.”

Chair of the Combined Authority Business Board, Al Kingsley, said: “In welcoming HRH, Princess Anne to the region to officially cut the ribbon on this cutting-edge new facility, it’s also good to reflect on the success and hard work involved in getting the centre where it is today. This was about investing back into Chatteris, Fenland and the wider region, with a modern, well-equipped facility that will give people the skills they need for good jobs in the local economy, and at the same time supporting our local employers with the pipeline of well-trained staff they need to thrive into the future.

“Parts of Fenland have some of the lowest levels of skills in the country, and if we want to help the local economy get stronger, and for businesses to grow, we need great training centres like this to help the region kick on, and deliver the sustainable growth and better productivity we all want to see.”

Further information about courses available at NCTC can be found at https://www.wsc.ac.uk/north-cambridgeshire-training-centre