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College feeling healthy after opening new £2m campus

News overview

The Mayor of Ipswich – Councillor Lynne Mortimer – officially opened a new £2m Health Science Campus at Suffolk New College in Ipswich yesterday.

New Health Science Campus

Situated on the corner of Rope Walk and Dove Street, the facility will be used to help students of all ages get the skills they need to progress into careers in the NHS and other health, care, and science related roles.

Within the new four-storey centre there are specialist training environments including a children’s nursery, an occupational health room, an immersive suite hospital ward, a virtual reality suite, along with a new laboratory, classrooms, and IT facilities. The aim is to provide students with realistic settings and scenarios that will replicate their future workplaces.

Part of the money (£1.1m) was secured thanks to the Government’s Post 16 Capacity Fund.

The rest of the cash was topped up through college resources.

This is the latest new build project in a long line of successful expansion plans that have recently seen the college open a Tech Campus and a Net Zero Skills Centre.

Alan Pease, College Principal and CEO said: “This is another proud milestone in the history of Suffolk New College. This modern specialist campus will enable us to train the next generation of talented individuals who are needed to work in crucial roles primarily in the health, care and science sectors. 

Alan Pease giving a speech

“I am very grateful for the grant we received from the Department of Education towards the building costs.  I would also like to thank ESNEFT who have provided funding support towards the virtual reality suite, within the new Health Science

Campus, providing test environments for our learners to practice their skills in.”

Councillor Lynne Mortimer, Mayor of Ipswich – a former student of Suffolk New College who studied A levels and who also met her husband James whilst studying at the College – said: “It was a pleasure to return to my former place of study and open this fantastic new building.

Mayor Lynn Mortimer with SNC students

“It will be a huge boost to the town as the doctors, nurses, specialists, care workers and scientists of the future will get to learn from the best and receive training in these state-of-the-art, industry-ready facilities.”

Over 100 guests attended the launch event that was held in Chefs’ Whites, the colleges’ in-house restaurant, and they all were given a tour of the new facilities.

Guests included Peter Cook, the associate director of innovation and education at East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust (ESNEFT). Peter said: “The team at ESNEFT is committed to supporting the education of the NHS workforce of the future.

Alan Pease posing with guest at the campus launch event

“ESNEFT and Suffolk New College are already doing significant work together to support students through work placement opportunities and careers events. This impressive new facility at the college will play a huge part in educating and inspiring students ahead of rewarding healthcare careers and it will really enhance the learning experience.” 

Tanner Minter, 18, from Hadleigh, is on a T Level health level 3 course. Tanner said: “The new facilities are really good for our practical activities as you feel more immersed (in study) and you have all the equipment to do practical scenarios – it helps you feel more prepared for the environment that you will work in.”

Tanner Minter, SNC Student

Dami Ogunnowo, 17, from Ipswich is also on a health T level course at Suffolk New College. Dami said: “Practical things stick to my brain so I love the facilities.”

Dami Ogunnowo, SNC Student

Wiktoria Kosla, 16, from Stradbroke, is on the same course as Dani. Wiktoria said: “The campus is cool as you get to see the different aspects of care.”                                                                                                            

Another new build project that has recently been launched at the college is a farm shop at the Suffolk Rural campus which sells items made and produced by college learners.

Posted 1 February 2024