• April 2024
  • Official opening of Central Saint Michael’s Sandwell Science, Engineering & Manufacturing Centre in West Bromwich

Sandwell College hosted an opening ceremony today (Tuesday 19 March) to formally celebrate the opening of the Central Saint Michael’s Sandwell Science, Engineering & Manufacturing Centre in West Bromwich.

(Left to Right: Councillor Peter Hughes, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Chris Hinson and Graham Pennington).

 

Colleagues from Sandwell Council, the West Bromwich Town Deal Board Chair and DLUHC Towns Fund Central Team, were invited to the opening ceremony, alongside local employers and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. 

Since opening its doors in September 2023, more than 220 students are now able to enjoy their learning at the new facility on West Bromwich High Street, and as the centre establishes itself more opportunities for students will follow. Students are able to work in a range of electrical and mechanical labs, digital computer labs and computer aided design (CAD) studios. Also, in a first for the Black Country, a ‘Festo suite’ is available to prepare people, companies and organisations for the digital future in production and new technologies.

The project was funded by the Government’s Towns Fund Programme, with co-funding from Sandwell College and Department for Education. Works started on site in November 2022 and the construction of the facility completed in August 2023. During the delivery of the project, 29 construction jobs were supported. And a number of permanent jobs were created as a result of this project.

Sandwell College is currently working on plans to develop the High Street centre further, with additional classroom and practical outdoor teaching spaces to accommodate more students on site.

Sandwell College Principal and Chief Executive Graham Pennington said: “We are delighted to officially open our new specialist Science, Engineering & Manufacturing Centre, which will provide high-calibre academic, technical and apprenticeship qualifications.

“This is an important moment for the College, West Bromwich and the borough, reflecting all our commitments to regeneration and investment for the next generation of local residents. The centre provides new and exciting opportunities for young people and adults and we look forward to welcoming even more students to West Bromwich in the coming years.”

Councillor Peter Hughes, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “We have a rich industrial history and we are proud to have businesses in Sandwell that are manufacturing products to be exported all over the world.

“Regeneration isn’t just about buildings, it’s about improving skills and supporting people to get the best start in their chosen career paths. This wonderful new addition to West Bromwich High Street will give people excellent training opportunities to gain much-needed technical skills for the future at cutting-edge facilities.”

Chris Hinson, West Bromwich Town Deal Board Chair, said: “The Sandwell Regeneration Strategy outlines the vision for West Bromwich to be a thriving, optimistic and resilient town, to become a gateway to higher education, where students come to study. The opening of the Science, Engineering & Manufacturing Centre in the High Street is another big step forward to achieving this vision.

“It will provide new and exciting choices for our students and help to create a new talent pool of skills in digital, construction and engineering professions. The West Bromwich Town Deal Board is extremely pleased to have helped facilitate such an important project under the Towns Fund programme with support from the college and the Department for Education.”