Cities of London and Westminster MP, Mark Field, opened the City of Westminster College’s temporary Paddington Basin Campus today along with his parliamentary colleague, Karen Buck MP.
Mark and Karen performed the ribbon cutting ceremony before taking a tour of the facilities and meeting students and staff. Mark was impressed with the hard work of the College’s team and praised their efforts to introduce a contemporary, flexible facility to improve learning facilities in the Paddington area.
The temporary campus in North Wharf Road is sited in former school buildings that have been extensively refurbished at a cost of more than £4 million. Upgraded facilities include a combined Learning/Open Access IT Centre at the heart of the main building, improved student recreation spaces, extended provision for construction-related courses and new colour-coded signage for the whole campus.
These innovative features will be carried across to the College’s new Paddington Green Campus, a landmark building currently under construction and scheduled to open in September 2010. “There is increasing demand for higher level skills in the workforce as London, and the UK as a whole, competes in a global economy. This ambitious redevelopment programme of Paddington Green Campus provides a unique opportunity to create an impressive platform for these skills in the heart of London,” said Mark Field.
The College’s proposed new Paddington Green Campus, designed by Danish architect schmidt hammer lassen, is the striking centrepiece of a wider £107 million project to rationalise and upgrade all of the College’s facilities. This was made possible by a grant of £87 million from the Learning & Skills Council and is the largest such project it has approved to date. “The very best teaching and learning environment is a vital element of our future and a new world-class educational building will not only provide exceptional facilities, but will send strong messages about the importance of vocational education and skills training,” said College Chair of Governors Jude Boardman.