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Hitmaker Pete pops in to Dudley to show he is digging new tech centre
9:00am Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
POP producer Pete Waterman helped tune up engineering education by turning the turf for a new Dudley training centre.
The hitmaker, who is also a well-known railway and technology enthusiast, cut the first soil for a new Centre for Advance Manufacturing and Engineering Technology at Dudley College.
He took the controls of a mechanical digger at a ceremony to get construction underway for the £8m centre, called Dudley Advance, which is expected to be opened in September 2014.
Pete Waterman OBE said: "It’s fantastic to see that training in traditional and new engineering skills have such a positive future in the Black Country. Engineering is part of our heritage and a vital element of our economy at home and overseas.
"I’m delighted that Dudley Advance will be open next year to train and create the next generation of engineering experts and manufacturing specialists so we can continue to be competitive, and be proud of the talent in this region.”
The start of building on the site, in the Learning Quarter of the town centre, is the culmination of three years of planning and consultation with employers to provide courses which will develop skills for industry in the region.
Stuart Towe, chairman of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "The development and continued success of engineering and manufacturing companies is integral to the future prosperity of the Black Country economy and we need to significantly improve the technical skill level of our existing and future workforce."
The college also announced a new partnership agreement with Aston University and the Dudley campus principal, Lowell Williams, believes the future looks good for Black Country engineering.
Mr Williams said: “Dudley Advance is a very exciting and distinctive project and we are thrilled to celebrate the ground breaking for this fantastic facility.
"We are confident that this further addition to the Dudley Learning Quarter will revive and regenerate the development of high value manufacturing and engineering skills for the region.”
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