- Created on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 11:08
Torbay Mayor cuts turf for South Devon College’s Energy Centre
Gordon Oliver, Mayor of Torbay, cut the turf to start the building of South Devon College’s Energy Centre, based on the Whiterock Business Park in Paignton.
The approval of the ERDF funding has just been announced as the final part of the funding jigsaw. At the ceremony, Stephen Criddle announced the signing of the contract for £2.5m of funding from the ERDF at the Turf Cutting ceremony and explained how without this funding the project could not go ahead.
“We are indebted to the ERDF, as well as all the other funders, who through their funding are enabling us to create such an exciting and important project which will play a major role in growing the low carbon sector in the South West. ERDF funding will support not only the capital build costs of this inspiring new Centre, but also the business support and community engagement functions. There will also be incubation space integrated into the Centre so that those thinking of setting up businesses in the energy sector will have the expert support they need on hand. We plan to create 400 new private sector jobs through the Centre’s activities and to ensure that South Devon is regarded as a hub for low carbon and renewables related businesses – both new and old – to set up and thrive.”
Gordon Oliver was delighted to cut the turf for this exciting project. Remembering his years as a student and as Governor at the College, he was well aware of the progress of the College over the years going from strength to strength. Looking to the future, he said
“in a few years’ time we will be paying £10 for a gallon of petrol; we need new technologies to heat our homes and conserve energy. This Centre is at the forefront of new developments - the time is right, and I look forward to coming here again in a year’s time to see this wonderful Centre in action. This sort of development is just what Torbay needs to create jobs and reduce unemployment.”
Colin Skellett, Deputy Chairman of the Local Management Committee which steers the South West Competitiveness ERDF Programme, said
“The Programme is delighted to be investing £2.5m into the South West Energy Centre. The Centre is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the growth of a new sector which will bring jobs and business opportunities to this area. We look forward to working with South Devon College and their partners to make this ambition a reality.”
Those attending the ceremony included Eifion Jones (Head of Competitiveness at the ERDF team, Department of Communities and Local Government), Stephen Criddle (Principal of South Devon College), Kevin Mowat (Chair of Governors, South Devon College), Alastair Mullen (Pre-construction, Kier Construction) and his team, student representatives from Plumbing and Electrical courses at the College, and Layla Adaci, South Devon College Student Union President.
The construction work will start next week and is bang on schedule to be complete by the summer of 2013, ready to deliver much needed training to local businesses and individuals. It will also provide R&D facilities for companies wishing to try out new products and technologies, with the opportunity to collaborate on their research with the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth.
Businesses who are keen to take advantage of partner opportunities with what the Energy Savings Trust describes as “a high profile, inspirational skills and business development facility of national significance” should contact the Energy Centre Director, Paddy McNevin, on
tel 01803 540738
The next event to be delivered from the interim Energy Centre based on the College campus will be the ‘Ready for Retrofit’ seminar to be held on Wednesday 31 October. This event is run by Regen SW and will be of particular interest to companies who want to get engaged in this area of work as they will be given details about £1000 grants to help them do so.
Anyone interested in the training currently available at the Centre or to find out more about the Centre’s activities, should contact:
or phone 01803 540725
The Centre’s website will also give information about courses coming up soon: