Classes start at Blackpool’s £10m new energy HQ

Lancashire Energy HQ
Lancashire Energy HQ

Blackpool’s £10m energy college has welcomed its first students through the door.

The cutting-edge facility at Blackpool and The Fylde College is the flagship development on the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and aims to train the next generation of movers and shakers in the energy industry.

Operations Manager Don Harvie in the nuclear plant simulator

Operations Manager Don Harvie in the nuclear plant simulator

The intention is to offer a wide range of energy-related courses in a bid to retrain and provide new skills for future employees in the energy sector.

Energy HQ has been co-designed in conjunction with employers and funded by Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership and the college.

Training will be available for people aiming to work in renewable energies sector as well as the nuclear, oil and gas sectors.

The Renewable Energy Engineering programme was the first to get underway.

One of the first students, Stephen Kay, 44, from St Annes, said: “It is fantastic to be learning in a facility like this to get into an industry which is only going to keep growing.

“We’re all interested in different areas of renewable energy but I have no doubt we’ll all be working in the industry in a few years.”

William Higgins, 22, from South Shore, added: “I live across the road so watched the College being built. My dad was putting solar panels on the roof of our house at the time and told me renewable energy was the future so I should sign up.

“He was right. Current energy sources are unsustainable and we will only have renewables soon so there will be lots of jobs for people with the right skills, which is what we’re getting here.”

The Lancashire Energy HQ includes the largest nuclear simulator in England, three large engineering an renewable technologies workshops; a metals engineering laboratory; a purpose-built welding facility and a resource centre equipped with state-of-the-art software.

Mandy Pritchard, head of engineering and science said: “This facility and the programmes we will deliver here were designed in conjunction with industry professionals to ensure we are providing exactly what the sector needs for its employees.”

· Anyone interested in finding out more about courses, should contact Lancashire Energy HQ on (01253) 504 343 or energy@blackpool.ac.uk