Topping out ceremony held at new college

Celebrating topping out at the Weaponness site on the roof of the new university building. Picture by Richard Ponter 162225
Celebrating topping out at the Weaponness site on the roof of the new university building. Picture by Richard Ponter 162225
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The £11m new University Technical College that will transform the educational scene in Scarborough and district for a generation of teenage students has been unveiled.

The £11m new University Technical College that will transform the educational scene in Scarborough and district for a generation of teenage students has been unveiled.

Aerial view of the UTC

Aerial view of the UTC

The building at the former Weaponness Valley coach park will be up and running by September, with just the internal areas now to be fitted out by Willmott Dixon Construction, who have up to 200 workers on the entire site.

At the official topping out ceremony, the main entrance area, study rooms, main hall, canteen area and workshops were part of a tour, with open days next month for students and schools.

“The UTC will help us to create the best educated coastal town in the country, it will be a catalyst for the future,” said Peter Wilkinson, chairman of the Scarborough Business Ambassadors and main driving force behind the idea of the college.

It is a government-funded business-led school for 14 to 18 year-olds, offering a full range of GCSEs, A levels and technical qualifications but with an emphasis on technology, engineering, design and practical skills.

Celebrating the UTC dinner at The Crown Spa Hotel 162225

Celebrating the UTC dinner at The Crown Spa Hotel 162225

Mr Wilkinson added: “We have created a strong partnership with the University of Hull to encourage young people into careers rather than just leaving the area. Companies such as Plaxton and McCain, and organisations such as GCHQ are all supportive of the concept to help pupils develop and have greater opportunity.”

More than 40 per cent of UTC students go on to university, and the remainder go on to apprenticeships or direct employment.

A number of prospective students attended the tour of the new building, which is next to the new university being developed by Coventry University. Nearby is the new sports village where a soccer stadium is also being built.

Tim Englefield, head of the UTC, added: “It’s great to see the building taking shape, the size of it and to assess what will be where. We already have the colour branding, with the study rooms in grey and black, the open learning in red and white, the canteen in lime and blue with red seating ... it will look tremendous, new and bright and will offer a whole new start for young students.”

The building taking shape

The building taking shape

Supporters of the UTC include McCain, GCHQ, Unison engineering, Willmott Dixon, Altodigital, Royal Navy, SWC, Firmac, Flamingo Land Resort Yorkshire, Osprey, Dale Power Solutions,York Potash, Plaxton, Severfield, Castle Group, DSE, Third Energy, Schneider Electric and Zetland Group.

The Crown Spa Hotel hosted a UTC dinner at which Barry Dodd, chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership and a key figure with the University of Hull, said: “There has been great foresight in creating a UTC as a partnership.”