UTC Warrington were honoured to welcome HRH The Duke of York, KG on Monday 7 November to officially open their state-of-the-art college. The Duke of York, was met by Lord Lieutenant, David Briggs, who introduced the Principal and Chief Executive of UTC Warrington, Lee Barber and several key project stakeholders alongside the Mayor and Mayoress of Warrington and local councillors.
The Duke of York toured the facilities which included a visit to the 160-seat lecture theatre where a group of Year 10 students were taking part in an English lesson designed to test their knowledge on GCSE text – An Inspector Calls. A group of Year 12 students taking part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme were waiting in the Fujistu Learning Resource Centre along with Steph Tickle from Young Enterprise and Greg Hewitt, Managing Director of Rock Oil and employer partner of UTC Warrington, to welcome The Duke of York.
The Duke spent a considerable amount of time talking to the team about why they had chosen to participate in the project, their business ideas and how they are going to take the project forward. Year 12 student Lauryn Baker and Managing Director of the Young Enterprise business, LUX said:
It was an honour to meet Prince Andrew, he asked us some challenging questions when we met him which meant we had to think fast, but I really enjoyed the experience of being able to share our plans and get some feedback from a member of the royal family.
The final stop on the tour was a visit to the engineering workshop where Director of Science & Engineering, Mark O’Donoghue gave The Duke a demonstration of the Swift Cut plasma cutter, followed by Year 12 students demonstrating how they use virtual welding equipment in lessons to practice their hands-on skills.
The royal visit concluded with the official opening ceremony which was attended by a group of over 80 employer partners, stakeholders and staff members. The Duke of York shared his thoughts on his visit and the UTC model before finishing with the unveiling of a plaque specially commissioned to mark the occasion.
Speaking about the visit, Principal and Chief Executive of UTC Warrington, Lee Barber said:
We were honoured that HRH The Duke of York, KG chose to visit and officially open University Technical College Warrington. As a champion of the UTC concept we were keen to demonstrate our specialist approach to education and provide him with a real insight into how UTCs are developing and matching student skills with the needs of local businesses.
For more information about University Technical College Warrington please visit:www.utcwarrington.org