Daventry’s new college building has opened its doors to students.
Students and staff have now moved into the new £13 million Northampton College campus off Badby Road West, allowing them to make the most of a new Digital Academy, industry-standard workshops for motor vehicle engineering and hairdressing and beauty therapy salons.
Courtney Savage, a health and social care student, said: “I think the new building is smarter, it feels bigger and is generally a much nicer place to come to everyday.
“I think the new style is more appropriate for a college because it feels like a step up from school and more like a university.”
Childcare student Viccy Foulks, said: “There are much better facilities now which has created a lot more workspace for us to use which is important in childcare as we need to learn a lot of practical aspects of child development.
“With facilities like this on our doorstep it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.”
Hundreds of new students at the campus have been handed a free HP Chromebook to help them with their studies.
The new campus features the very latest computer suites, teaching space for healthcare and childcare plus dedicated provision for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “Our new curriculum, with a focus on preparing students for the world of work, is complemented by stunning facilities and unrivalled links with local employers.
“Our ambition is to make sure that Daventry Campus students achieve their potential, gain their qualifications and move on to secure the best jobs possible.”
Northampton College was awarded a £6.5 million Local Growth Fund by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) to part fund this purpose built campus in Daventry.
Brad Taylor, who is studying mechanics at the college, said: “Our new workshop is much bigger than what we had before.
“We used to just have a few tables along a wall, now we have proper desks and computers in the workshop.
“And before the floor was uneven and breaking up, so moving rigs around was tricky. The new workshop is much more like the type of places we want to be working in future.”
Becca Yates, who is studying health and social care, said: “Our classroom is bigger and more suitable to the types of learning we do.
“There’s more colour and there’s more life to the whole building too. Before there wasn’t really anywhere people sat together and talked to their friends, but now there is.”
Ella Clarke, who is studying childcare, said: “I feel like the building is more of a college than the old one.
“The old building was quite small but here is brights and clean. It just feels happier to be here.”
The curriculum includes a range of study programmes that consist of technical and professional qualifications plus maths and English and employability skills.
Councillor Colin Poole, Daventry District Council’s economic, regeneration and employment portfolio holder, said: “The new campus is excellent news for Daventry.
“We are extremely proud to have worked with the college, SEMLEP and other partners to progress these state-of- the-art facilities, including a new Digital Academy that will elevate our town’s educational offer for young people.”