Gaming students at Burton and South Derbyshire College are among those to benefit from a £3.2 million grant which will see an expansion of services.

The college is set to benefit from brand new facilities after its plan for a new suite of facilities has received initial funding of £3.2 million through the Government’s Stronger Towns Fund.

The facilities boost will include a health and social care realistic working environment, mechatronics suite, creative digital learning hub, cyber security lab and a games development suite.

All areas selected to receive new facilities are growing and priority industries with high demand for future employment, the college has said.

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The health and social care realistic working environment will provide students with simulated environments to gain experience, knowledge, skills and understanding within a range of health and social care settings.

The mechatronics suite will support manufacturing productivity through the provision of mechatronics and robotics skills that enhance manufacturing productivity.

In an ever-increasing digital world, the need to secure organisational systems and protect them against malicious cyber-attacks is growing exponentially. The new cyber security labs will provide students access to the latest technology and through its training and collaboration develop skills, knowledge to protect and secure organisational networks.

The creative digital learning hub will develop cutting edge digital aptitude and skills, through physical and virtual environments, extending the town’s digital capacity and footprint.

Meanwhile, the games development suite will develop a high-level environment that brings industry and education together. The college will work closely with alumni, its partner university and industry to further expand courses in games, animation, programming and VFX skills.

Dawn Ward, chief Executive and principal at the college, said: “We are delighted that the Burton Stronger Towns Fund bid has been successful and that our own future skills part of the bid will now go ahead.

"As a college we have always worked with local employers, the Chamber of Commerce and our own labour market forecasting tools to ensure we are delivering the much needed technical and vocational skills of the future.

"This essential investment in skills from the Towns Fund will ensure that key local industries have the future pipeline of skilled talent, both now and in the future, that will allow their businesses to thrive helping drive increased economic development and prosperity locally.”

The Stronger Towns Fund also funded the refurbishment of Burton's High Street as a cost of £750,000.

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