Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin praises GREEN Skills Centre project at Berkeley

25th June 2014

Stroud MP Neil Carmichael welcomed Oliver Letwin MP, Cabinet Minister for Government Policy, to Berkeley on Monday, to see the proposed site for the Gloucestershire Renewable Energy, Engineering & Nuclear (GREEN) Skills Centre project.

Neil Carmichael welcomed the idea for a skills centre on part of the old power station site at Berkeley and was delighted to welcome Mr Letwin to meet with SGS College principal Kevin Hamblin, Stroud District Council chief executive David Hagg, GFirst Business Manager Martin Bruton, and District Councillors Penny Wride and Gordon Craig.

The project forms part of GFirst's Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), and if funding is secured it is hoped that the site will begin to offer training in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire and SGS College in spring 2015.

Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin MP said: "It is splendid to see such an exciting plan to foster local growth. Our long term economic plan crucially involves developing both nuclear and other low carbon technologies; imaginative re-use of this site is an ideal way to provide both training in the skills that will be required and a base for new firms to create secure local jobs."

Neil Carmichael MP said: "I am delighted at how much progress has been made, and with Oliver Letwin's obvious interest in the GREEN Centre project."

Kevin Hamblin, SGS College Principal said: "We are pleased to welcome Oliver Letwin to the GREEN site today. It is great that a Minister has taken time to visit a project which will look to develop engineers for the future, in both general engineering and also in nuclear and renewables."

David Hagg, Chief Executive of Stroud District Council said: "The GREEN Skills Centre is a great, imaginative and innovative scheme, which will deliver in the long term for the Stroud District.

David Atkinson, from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which owns the site, said: "The NDA was once considering demolition of these surplus facilities and we are absolutely delighted that they can instead support the college's plans to provide training in renewable energy and nuclear skills. We were also pleased to have the opportunity to explain to the Minister about the work carried out by NDA and Magnox, both in preparing the site for re-use and in collaborating on this important scheme."

Located adjacent to the former nuclear power station, the centre will occupy a range of facilities that have been decommissioned and made available for business use.

Mr Letwin and Neil Carmichael were shown around the site, including one of the former industrial buildings where existing classrooms will be refurbished with sustainability of the site in mind.

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