A new 2,000 sq m technology and skills centre has been unveiled which will create more than 150 jobs and apprenticeships in Hampshire.
The new £6.45m centre in Andover would boast areas for construction, engineering and wood sectors, the trades in which the local economy has skill gaps.
The centre, based at the town’s college, is expected to create 36 jobs, 81 apprenticeships and 34 higher apprentices when the Andover site opens in August 2016.
A total of £9.2m has been awarded to three skills centres in Surrey and Hampshire, in Andover, Ashford and Brockenhurst, by Enterprise M3 – the Local Enterprise Partnership for the M3 Corridor.
Tim Jackson, Andover College principal, said: “We are extremely pleased to have received so much backing for our bid to build a new technology centre at the Andover campus.
“The support from the Enterprise M3 LEP, Hampshire County Council and Test Valley Borough Council has enabled us to invest in the expansion of the college as we continue to grow our student numbers.
“The new technology centre will also allow us to develop our range of courses to meet the needs of local employers and provide young people and adults with essential skills.”
Geoff French, chairman of the Enterprise M3 LEP, added: “The board is delighted to approve £9.24m of funding to both improve and grow the skills base in Andover, Brockenhurst and Ashford.
“By making significant investment in state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering and maths facilities such as these, we are ensuring that the young people in the Enterprise M3 area have access to excellent teaching accommodation and are provided with the skills which the hi-tech businesses in our area require in order to remain competitive in the global market.”