A SUSTAINABLE energy hub was launched at the Lancaster and Morecambe College (LMC) campus last week.

Guests from Eden Project North, Lancaster City Council, CITB, Lancaster University and UCLan, joined representative from local businesses, partner colleges and schools to attend a series of talks and take a tour of the new facilities, which have been funded through the Strategic Development Fund (SDF) and the Walney Extension Community Fund.

The Mail: Morecambe Bay curriculum detailsMorecambe Bay curriculum details (Image: Lancaster and Morecambe College)

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Following welcome from LMC Principal, Wes Johnson, and a talk from Eden Project North’s Tim Narey, visitors were were shown around the Hub, which features a fully-immersive Virtual Reality (VR) learning zone, a Cybersecurity lab, Computer Aided Design (CAD) suite and a Renewable Energy Demonstration Centre. 

The Mail: Rising Tides, a specially-commissioned film Rising Tides, a specially-commissioned film (Image: Lancaster and Morecambe College)

Maggie Cawthorn, sustainability project lead said: "It was wonderful to see so many people attend the launch and to hear their feedback about the new facilities, which will bring practical benefits to all of our learners. The VR suite will allow them to experience a range of work-related scenarios, such as working at height training for wind-turbine engineering and investigating the impact of global warming on our local landscape.”

Ryann Williams, programme area manager for the Energy, Engineering and Construction (EEC) department, gave a tour of campus and explained how LMC have embedded sustainable and green skills across the wider curriculum. Alongside the Sustainable Energy Hub, new learning spaces have been developed with a robotics and electronics lab, hydrogen-ready plumbing workshop and an electric vehicle charging centre.

The Mail: The immersive VR iglooThe immersive VR igloo (Image: Lancaster and Morecambe College)

The highlight for many was the opportunity to stand inside the immersive VR Igloo and witness the specially commissioned film, ‘Rising Tides’, in 360-degree vision.

This powerful film, which highlights the impact climate change and rising sea levels will have on our local coastline and communities, has been developed in collaboration with the creative team at Sairo and is narrated by Jon Carter from the RSPB.

Sarah Turner, head of business development ETA Awards, said: "The new facilities and equipment are amazing and I was absolutely blown away by the immersive viewing experience, which shows the impact of climate change and what the local area is going to look like by 2035. It really is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen."