An outstanding year for Coleg Cambria was marked by the unveiling of a £10 million engineering technology complex and campus redevelopment.
At today’s annual general meeting, the college celebrated a remarkable 12 months of achievements, which included its best ever A Level results, a 90% staff satisfaction rate and the rollout of higher education and apprenticeship programmes.
Coleg Cambria contributed to the north east Wales economy with an annual turnover of £60million and garnered more than 90% in every category of its survey of parents.
CEO David Jones – named FE Leader of the Year by the TES at its most recent awards – said the diligence and determination of everyone at the institution contributed to the results.
Revealing the new facility at the college’s Bersham Road campus, he said: “We have achieved so much together that it’s almost impossible to pick out a highlight.
“We’ve opened a £3.5m business school on our Northop site, performed amazingly well at the WorldSkills finals in Abu Dhabi and are in line with all of the targets in our strategic plan, which takes us to 2020.
“Today we celebrate another milestone, as we launch this magnificent facility here to deliver world class further and higher level courses for engineering, construction, wider science and technology in partnership with businesses in this area and beyond.”
Wrexham’s Assembly Member Lesley Griffiths had the honour of officially opening the new facility.
She said: “Along with the support of the Welsh Government, Coleg Cambria’s multi-million pound investment at the Bersham Road site has created an excellent new learning environment which rivals anything in the country.
“Just under two years ago, I visited Bersham Road to see the plans for the new development. Now the work is complete, I am certain the modern, state-of-the-art facilities will provide greater opportunities for hundreds of young people in and around Wrexham.”
Mr Jones said the AGM was an opportunity to reflect on their successes while looking ahead to an important year for the college.
“As proud as we are, we now need to look forward, adapt and grow,” he said.
“We live in changing times, with many opportunities, but also significant challenges across north east Wales and the wider cross-border socio-economic region that we serve.
“During the year we have continued to work at the heart of the community, building aspiration and skills and aiming to make a significant contribution to economic growth.
“That will continue as we mark five incredible years as an institution this summer, and more exciting plans are revealed.”
Among them will be the multi-million pound revamp of the Yale site in Wrexham, and settling into the new Bersham centre, which features a conference suite, manufacturing hall, CAD suites, and electronic and engineering labs.
At a regional and national level, Mr Jones said he is pleased to see the reputation and profile of Coleg Cambria rise in tandem with its impact and collaboration with key partners in Wales and beyond.
“We successfully became a Skills Funding Agency (SfA) approved training organisation, enabling us to deliver apprenticeships to learners whose home address is in England as well as supporting innovative projects such as the North Wales and cross-border Growth Bid,” he said.
“We were also extremely pleased to take a lead role in developing the bilingual workforce in north east Wales, in partnership with the National Centre for Learning Welsh and service deliverers.”
Mr Jones added: “However, our overriding priority continues to be delivering excellent teaching and learning, in order to stretch, challenge and inspire all learners to explore and achieve their full potential.
“We are committed to offering the highest possible services in all that we do – raising skills levels, even more effectively meeting the needs of employers, and developing our offer to ensure that it is appropriate and increasingly meeting higher level skills demands.
“Thank you to all our students, staff, governors and partners for their hard work, inspiration, innovation and success.”
For more information on the new engineering technology centre and latest developments at Coleg Cambria, visit the website: www.cambria.ac.uk