Lord Young Officially Opens Technology Block at Merton Campus

"Investment in new facilities like these helps unlock talent for the future."

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The college has a rich history of delivering provision in technology at the Merton campus, dating back to 1975 when the site was originally formed as a specialist technology college. Today, the campus offers a full range of courses, but the brand-new technology facilities, costing £12 million to deliver, mark the latest phase of a £40 million investment over the last four years in developing new buildings and refurbishments. Now, nearly all of the provision across Merton campus is housed in buildings which are either new, or have been completely refurbished.

At the opening on Monday, Lord Young of Norwood Green, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said:
“I am delighted to have opened South Thames College’s new Technology Building. Investment in new facilities like these helps unlock talent for the future which is especially important as we look to rebuild the economy. The government is proud to have overseen such an extensive programme of rebuilding 42 colleges around the country. Vocational skills are a fantastic starting point, and colleges such as South Thames make a real difference to individuals and strengthen the communities they serve.”

Principal Sue Rimmer said, “The opening of the Technology Block demonstrates our commitment to providing the excellent facilities that our students and staff deserve. As part of South Thames College, we will continue to invest in the future of learning at the Merton campus so that our students are well prepared for the world of work and can go on to fulfilling careers and sustainable employment.”

The new block houses Motorcycle Engineering, attracting a range of students from those joining at entry level, to courses for seasoned bike owners and enthusiasts. Over the years the college has worked with hundreds of employers delivering apprenticeships at Foundation and Advanced Level.

The new facilities incorporate innovative technology such as a ‘rolling road’ to test bikes and a micro camera (similar to those used in medical surgery) for studying detailed and enclosed motorcycle parts up close.

Chris Wrench (Fusion Project Management), Principal Sue Rimmer
and Lord Young (on bike), Cllr David Williams, Julie Naldrett (Head of Technology) 

The new building also caters for interesting and unique courses in Musical Instrument Technology. Merton campus is one of only four centres in the country offering this specialist provision creating and repairing instruments from guitars to woodwind and brass instruments.

Students can now benefit from spacious workshops and fantastic equipment in order to be ready for work in this fascinating industry.  Some of the state-of-the-art facilities in the Technology Block include:

  • Musical Instrument Workshops
  • Motorcycle Workshops
  • Mechanical and Machine Workshop
  • Practical / DIY Workshop
  • Manual Drawing Office – embedding technical and drafting skills into engineering programmes
  • Electronics Lab – enabling students to test designs for electrical circuits.

The investment in buildings and refurbishments represents a huge step forward in providing exceptional and modern facilities to all learners, as part of South Thames College’s over-arching mission to be an ‘outstanding’ and inclusive college.


March 17, 2010