New college set for Burnley

Visions Learning Trust, led by Training 2000, has selected Weavers' Triangle in Burnley as the preferred location for a new university technical college.

Visions Learning Trust is a partnership between Lancashire County Council and Pendle, Burnley and Blackburn with Darwen Councils, with support from employers including Aircelle, Rolls-Royce and Fort Vale Engineering, and is being driven by former apprentice and chief executive of Training 2000, Steve Gray and his team.

The decision to base the college at Victoria Mill, located off Trafalgar Street, which is subject to approval from the Department for Education, was made by a panel of employers who have already pledged their support for the UTC following a tour of the sites proposed by both Burnley and Pendle Councils.

Victoria Mill was one of the three considered, alongside Kings Mill and Brierfield Mills in Pendle. Training 2000 will now detail its plans for Victoria Mill in the next stage of the process.

John Proctor, UTC curriculum advisor at Training 2000, said: "When we started looking at viable locations for the UTC we had a lot to take into consideration such as: location, access, public transport links and, of course, price.

"A key deciding factor in selecting the Victoria Mill site as our preferred location was its excellent public transport links and proximity to the town centre. In addition Weavers' Triangle is set to be a flagship regeneration scheme in the region, and we believe the UTC will benefit from the business opportunities it will attract.

"The UTC will offer employer-led technical learning alongside core subjects of English, Maths and Science making it very different to traditional education routes, so the fact that the decision was made by the very same companies that will shape the future of young people in the region is extremely positive."

The final decision on the location is subject to funding approval from the DfE which is expected in the coming weeks.

Visions Learning Trust is being supported by investment from the Baker Dearing Educational Trust and will provide education for 14 to 19 year olds.

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