THIS is the first glimpse inside a multi-million pound engineering and technological training facility which is taking shape on a college campus.

The £4m Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Centre at Furness College, in Barrow, is set to be completed by the end of June.

The state-of-the-art hub is to service the demand for skills training, supporting advanced manufacturing, linked to the growth of major companies in the area and the supply chain.

To help deliver the project, Furness College has received £1.6m through the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and £750,000 funding from the HEFCE catalyst fund.

The centre is being built by Thomas Armstrong Ltd, and the other partners on the project are Harrison Pitt Architects and Bushell Raven project management.

The hub will feature the latest in technology and equipment for those completing science, technology and engineering-related apprenticeships and HNC and degree programmes in engineering manufacturing and electrical and electronic engineering.

The ground floor features open-plan work spaces and the first floor has a metrology lab for the study of materials, CAD classrooms, and meeting rooms.

Steve McAloone, head of engineering and advanced manufacturing at the college, said this is an exciting time for the college.

Mr McAloone, said: “Skills development in the STEM areas are one of the key priorities identified by the LEP to support economic growth in Cumbria.

“There is a growth in apprenticeship training and this centre will also help with the upskilling and retraining of staff using the latest technologies.

“We work with small companies through to the large blue chip companies.

“We are seeing a substantial growth in engineering as a whole, there is the significant investment at BAE Systems, GSK and the developments in the nuclear industry on the west coast.”

Mr McAloone explained that the ground floor has an open plan approach to future-proof the centre for project and research work.

He invited advanced manufacturing businesses and individuals wanting to upgrade their skills to get in touch with the college.