THE £21m redevelopment of a leading college will boost the visitor economy and commercial centre of Wrexham.
When Coleg Cambria opens the doors to the new extension at its Yale site later this year, students and visitors will experience a hub focused on the creative industries, technical learning, industry partnerships and skills that will be crucial as the country emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic.
As well as the hairdressing and beauty therapy training academy salon there will be a new floristry shop, revolutionary kitchen and restaurant, theatre, study spaces, IT suites and a 200-seat conference hall.
They will also be looking to introduce a health and wellbeing drop-in centre and the modern sports facilities will be among the best in the country, including an international-standard netball court, gym, and fitness complex.
Alex Thomas, Assistant Principal for Technical Studies at Yale, said the college’s connection to the town will be even stronger when the development, undertaken by Bodelwyddan-based Wynne Construction, is unveiled this November.
“The new building is incredible and will see our current and future students learn and enjoy the most amazing technology and services in a warm, welcoming and modern environment,” said Mr Thomas.
“It will also play a big role in supporting the region’s visitor economy, as there is a renewed focus on developing learners’ essential commercial skills which are vital for employment in the sector.
“Giving them a feel for their future careers is vital, which is why hospitality and catering students are training in a first-class restaurant kitchen, the floristry students will be selling the bouquets and displays they create, and we already have the hair and beauty salon and academy and travel and tourism here.
“Yale will be a living and breathing hub for academia and industry, which will have a huge knock-on effect for Wrexham and the surrounding area, at an important time following the challenges of past months.”
He added: “The creative industries, like tourism, will be key drivers in North Wales and students joining us will have the very best technology at their disposal when it comes to film, music, journalism and more.
“It’s important that when the economy begins to bounce back, we have the skilled workers ready to take on these jobs, and the best place to help lay those foundations is Coleg Cambria.”
The college will also be delivering more flexible courses at different points throughout the year, which will be particularly invaluable for those people who have lost jobs due to the pandemic or are looking to reskill and take a different professional path.
Cambria’s Chief Executive Yana Williams said the revamped site will have an impact on learners for generations.
“Our young people can be inspired and challenged to meet their potential here and progress to the best university courses, apprenticeships and employment,” she said.
“For the town, our students and industry partners – at a pivotal time for north east Wales – the new facilities and culture at Yale will give everyone a boost.”