Designs have been revealed for a £6.3 million STEM and Health Skills Centre in Bodmin that aims to transform the teaching of industry-relevant skills in Cornwall

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Health Skills Centre for north and east Cornwall is being built by Truro and Penwith College with support from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is meeting £3.78 million of the costs through the Government’s Getting Building Fund (GBF).

The LEP successfully bid for £14.3 million of GBF funding during the summer following a Government call for ‘shovel-ready’ projects that could create jobs and support post-Covid-19 economic recovery across the country.

Work on the STEM and Health Skills Centre is expected to begin in February and scheduled to be completed by March 2022.

The project has been welcomed by Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP, who said: “We are levelling-up learning across the country so that our young people are equipped with the skills they need to succeed. By supporting the new STEM and Health Skills Centre in Bodmin with a £3.7 million Getting Building Fund investment, we will be helping over 300 local people a year to enter further education.

“The centre will also create 15 new jobs and support 150 business, meaning the benefits will ripple across the whole community.”

The STEM and Health Skills centre will offer engineering, manufacturing and digital skills for the aerospace, space, creative, energy and mining sectors, in line with the LEP’s Local Industrial Strategy.

And it will provide a range of locally delivered nursing and care apprentices up to and including registered nurse, extending the college’s current work with the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust to other health providers across the county.

In total, the centre expects to create 15 new jobs within five years and provide support to 150 businesses. It will offer 120 apprenticeships per year and is expected to help 300 people annually into further learning, leading to higher level vocational qualifications.

Truro and Penwith College principal, Martin Tucker, added: “Everyone at Truro and Penwith College is excited about the delivery of the new STEM and Health Skills Centre for Cornwall, especially as we reach milestones such as a first look at the building design.

“The educational and skills-growth potential the Skills Centre brings are the very epitome of the forward-focussed, positive Cornwall that the college works hard to support and I’ve no doubt that this important co-investment from the college and LEP will herald in a new era in the growth of socio-economic opportunity for individuals, communities and businesses across the north and east of Cornwall.”

The building has been designed by St Ives architect Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole, which also designed much of the Truro and Penwith College campus.