The Lincoln University Technical College has officially opened the doors of its new campus on Lindum Road after a £7.5 million investment transformed the former Greestone Centre.
One year after the college welcomed its first cohort at its temporary home in Chad Varah House in the Cathedral Quarter, the college kicked off the school year on September 7 by greeting 170 new students, 140 returning pupils and staff to its new home.
The building, which was formerly a girls’ school before being run for a spell by the University of Lincoln’s School of Art and Design, has been totally refitted with a brand new extension and facilities.
A new three-storey engineering and science suite at the back of the site has been designed as a modern extension, blending into the slope to the south side of Lincoln Cathedral, against the original Grade II listed building.
Lincoln UTC provides industry-led study for 14 to 18-year-olds, combining core subjects like maths and English, with specialist STEM subjects such as engineering.
Facilities include high-tech equipment in six science laboratories and eight engineering workshops.
It is the first educational establishment in Lincolnshire dedicated solely to industry specialisms, with a bold vision: “In pursuit of excellence, we will create a supportive, innovative environment and develop professional, respectful relationships.”
It is part of more than 30 UTCs supported by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust.
The build has been 18 months in the making, alongside contractors including Willmott Dixon and architects JR Roberts.
The college is also in partnership with a number of local businesses including Lincoln College, Siemens and the University of Lincoln.
It is hoped the college will bring a new supply of skilled professionals to the county, and is breaking through a gender gap in the STEM industry with 55 young women enrolling.
College Principal Rona Mackenzie said: “I see us as producing the next generation of young people that are going out to fill the skills shortage that there clearly is out there.
“There are businesses that are saying to us they are looking for people who have these very technical skills and we work very hard with our students to improve the skills that make them employable.
“We have lots more female students this year and I’m looking forward to welcoming them. Particularly as a female myself I want to encourage girls into STEM subjects as much as possible.”
Student Lucy Marriott began her first day at the college in year 12 on September 7. She said: “I was attracted to the college because it was science and engineering specialised. I love science so I thought it would be perfect.
“I don’t really see there only being opportunities here for a certain gender and there are quite a lot of girls in my year, it’s very balanced.
“I like the style of learning I feel very professional and I am getting ready for the workplace. I was to be a scientist, so biochemist or something to do with medicine.”