09 May 2019

Training the Healthcare Sector of the Future

New generations of students are set to benefit from the opening of a flagship facility at Weston College.

The £13 million Health and Active Living Skills Centre, completed by Midas Construction is based at the college’s Loxton Campus and will welcome its first students this September.

The aim of the bespoke facility is to provide learners with knowledge of the healthcare and sport sectors as well as vital industry skills.

The centre will bring together the College’s health and social care, sports therapy and active living courses into one facility, which will benefit students, businesses and the wider community.

It features a state-of-the-art training hospital ward, two full size football pitches (3G and grassed), a multi-gym and a sports hall.

Dr Paul Phillips, CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group, said: “This outstanding new training centre is the latest step in our drive to provide students with the very best learning facilities and resources.

“We have worked with key business partners to ensure that the Health and Active Living Centre will tackle the current skills shortage in the sector and address the longer-term issues that affect our health service and the health of the local population.”

Derek Quinn, Executive Director for Midas Construction, said: “This fantastic new development will have a significant long term impact on staff, students and the local community and we are pleased to have been able to complete the project on time for Weston College.”

The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority contributed £5.4 million towards the project, match funded by the college.

Chair of the West of England LEP, Prof Steve West, said: “We’re pleased to support the new Health and Active Living Skills Centre to deliver important investment in skills for health and social care professionals working in our region. It will also give young people the skills they need to progress further in their education and secure better career prospects right here in the West of England.

“We need to train more people for future careers in our hospitals and community services - this will improve the quality of care and improve people’s lives. With more highly qualified professionals, and with people trained in a wider range of disciplines, people will be better cared for.”

James Rimmer, Chief Executive of Weston Area Health Trust, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for partnership working between Weston College and Weston General Hospital.

“This demonstrates the investment we are both making to support the learning and development of students. We hope it will also help the recruitment and retention of staff as well as supporting the increased demand on healthcare locally.”

The development also continues a strong framework partnership between Weston College and Midas, who have worked closely together on a number of recent projects including the newly built Construction Training Centre.

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