As part of the £8.4million Strategic Development Fund (SDF) Pilot awarded to The Lancashire Colleges, the construction of the Sustainability Hub at Lancaster and Morecambe College is well underway as a showpiece for the county’s carbon reduction initiative and due to be operational in September.
The new hub is part of the Sustainable Energy project - one of seven projects under the SDF Pilot and incorporates a range of sustainable features including kinetic-energy capturing flooring, a robotic room, CAD suite, and a state-of-the-art 360 virtual reality (VR) suite with immersive headsets.
Maggie Cawthorn, Sustainability Project Coordinator at Lancaster and Morecambe College, said:
“The new facilities will bring real practical benefits. The VR suite will allow learners 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. We are also working with primary schools to support their science curriculum and careers provision.
“We’re introducing a culture of sustainability across the college and holding forums with students and staff on an ongoing basis to help improve knowledge and understanding of the issues.”
Once complete, the college will also arrange visits to the hub for community groups to share the benefits of how these technologies can work and is currently liaising with Lancaster City Council and Green Skills Group to help deliver the plan for retrofitting and improving people’s homes in the region.
The £670,000 investment in the centre has also enabled the development of a suite of new accredited environmental training qualifications, providing skills in retrofitting older homes to make them more environmentally-friendly, covering subjects such as insulation, ventilation, draught exclusion and air-source heat pumps.
Working with employers of all sizes across diverse projects covering agriculture, construction, energy, advanced manufacturing, digital and automotive, Lancashire’s colleges are helping to create a skilled workforce for a future zero-low carbon economy.
Employers can find out more details about how the programme can work to meet their own specific business needs at www.tlc.ac.uk/sdf.