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£2.34m funding deal for university project

Published: 21 October 2019 - Carly Wills

The Marches LEP has signed a £2.34m deal to fund the transformation of a former school into facilities for Hereford’s proposed new university.

The funding will be used to refurbish and equip buildings at the former Robert Owen Academy in Blackfriars Street for students learning practical engineering skills.

NMiTE is aiming to address the shortage of skilled graduate engineers in the Marches and British businesses across the advanced manufacturing, agri-engineering, data, defence, resources security, and sustainable/smart living technology sectors.

The LEP, which is led by the private sector working with local authority partners including Herefordshire Council, says the funding will see buildings improved, adapted and equipped to provide 3,205 square metres of teaching and learning space.

Mandy Thorn MBE, chair of the Marches LEP, said: “This £2.34m is the first tranche of a wider funding package secured via the government’s local growth fund by the Marches LEP.  Once transformed, the building is expected to see 250 learners come through the doors while creating 37 jobs and supporting 75 companies by 2023. This investment in skills in our region is vital and we’re very pleased the project is under way.”    

This funding deal will also see more than £3m invested by the private sector, boosting the local economy by more than £6m.

The reaching and learning facility will include studios and workshops for students to learn practical engineering skills.

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