GOVERNMENT Business Secretary, Vince Cable, visited Dudley College to officially open its new £18m Evolve campus.

The cabinet minister had a whistle stop tour of the Tower Street vocational training centre meeting arts and textile and travel and tourism students, as he was shown around by student Nicolle Huxley.

During the 40-minute visit the Liberal Democrat MP also unveiled a canvas specially made to commemorate the event, featuring one of his quotes, which is set to hang in the building’s reception area.

Speaking at the opening, Dr Cable MP said: “It is my great pleasure and privilege to be here at Dudley College to celebrate the Dudley Evolve centre.

“Further Education (FE) forms part of my DNA, my father left school at 15 to work in a factory. He worked hard and became a teacher at a FE College.

"I’ve just had a whistle stop tour of this building and met some of the students and it is difficult for young people to feign the enthusiasm and enjoyment that is being shown here.

“What I’ve seen here at Evolve and through the window at Dudley Sixth is a particularly important development. Colleges are much more than just training, they are about helping young people get out into the wider world. It is absolutely right we have facilities and buildings which are fit for purpose.”

The visit also allowed Dr Cable to officially announce a £2.2m investment of Government cash towards the college’s £6.6m manufacturing and engineering centre, which is set to be built adjacent to Dudley Sixth on Priory Road.

Dudley College Principal, Lowell Williams, said: “It is incredibly important for us to celebrate the official opening of the Dudley Learning Quarter which marks a new era in Dudley College’s 150 year history.

“The visit enabled the Minister and guests with the opportunity to view the new developments and meet the students whose vocational and academic skills development are benefiting from these fantastic new state-of-the-art facilities.”