Northumberland College has announced plans to create a dynamic, state-of-the-art digital academy to support future growth in the digital sector and address the regional skills gap.
The new digital academy, which will be based at the college’s Ashington campus, is to be developed as part of the college’s multi-million-pound investment programme.
It will offer high-quality education and training in digital software, coding, cyber security, virtual reality, games, animation and special effects, to support digital sector growth in line with the North East’s key economic priorities.
Nigel Harrett, Principal of Northumberland College, said:
“I am thrilled with the plans for our new digital academy at Ashington, which will support the development of future digital talent in Northumberland and beyond, as well as the region’s economic growth ambitions.
“Aligned to the UK’s industrial and digital strategies, this investment will allow students to specialise in digital innovation and develop the technical skills required for progression into a wide range of digital careers.”
In addition to the creation of the digital academy, there will be a sustained programme of improvement to the college’s IT infrastructure, which includes ensuring digital skills are embedded across the whole curriculum over the next three years.
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership has identified the digital sector as an area of strategic importance with strong opportunities for growth. The North East’s digital community is one of the most productive and fastest developing in the UK.
Laura Partridge, Digital Programme Lead at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“Meeting digital workforce challenges is at the heart of the North East LEP’s Digital for Growth strategy so this is a welcome announcement from Northumberland College.
“The digital sector is one that will help grow the regional economy, both now and in the future, so it’s essential we invest in key infrastructure and address skills shortages if we want to capitalise on the digitalisation of industry. The new digital academy will support the delivery of the North East Strategic Economic Plan and make our region even more attractive to employers.”
The college’s Ashington campus will also see the construction of an industry-standard health ward and a dynamic student hub, in addition to extensive refurbishments including brand new windows, a modern heating system, new boundary fencing and refurbished classrooms.
The investments are part of a multi-million-pound re-development programme that was announced earlier in the year, with student welfare, student experience and skills training being the main focus of the project. The first phase of the redevelopment programme is already underway and the new facilities are transforming the college into a modern, careers and skills-focused centre for school leavers and adults in Northumberland.
We are the largest further education provider in Northumberland with campuses throughout the county.
Our student transport scheme is available for eligible students to make getting to and from college as easy as possible.
Our extensive re-development programme will create outstanding new facilities.