Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, along with students from two West Cumbrian secondary schools, today opened ENERGUS, a state of the art GBP20m skills, training and education facility at Lillyhall Business Park, Workington.
Following a keynote address by the Minister and a response on behalf of the local community by Workington MP, Tony Cunningham, over 200 key stakeholders from the energy industries, local community, local and regional government, and the education sector, witnessed a spectacular laser and fountain display.
ENERGUS is the first project of Britain’s Energy Coast to come to fruition. It will be the northwest flagship for the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) and be home to the first presence of the University of Cumbria in the west of the county via a Learning Gateway.
Engineering workshops built to Formula 1 standards
A 200 seat lecture and conference theatre, a first in West Cumbria
Fully integrated, leading edge IT and audio visual services providing top quality meeting and distance learning services
Mr Miliband welcomed the launch, saying: "ENERGUS is a positive symbol of West Cumbria's future. The Government wants to work with them towards the vision of developing the advanced green technology we need, providing real jobs, real training and real prosperity."
Workington MP Tony Cunningham said: “I’m absolutely delighted that this day has finally arrived. Some of us have worked very hard on this project and the result is a world class facility right here in West Cumbria.
“We need to inspire our young people and encourage them to aim high. What better way of doing that than by providing a training facility that matches the best anywhere?
“I’m pleased too that Ed Miliband’s presence here today reinforces the Government’s commitment to top quality training provision.”
Dr Ian Hudson, Chairman of the ENERGUS Board, said: “ENERGUS is an excellent example of partnership working, right from its initial concept and financing, through construction and fit-out and in the planning of today’s launch.
“The West Cumbrian community, through local contractors, political and business support, and sheer hard work, should be justifiably proud of what we have achieved. By continuing to work together we can truly make ENERGUS a world class centre and a key part of the drive to build a successful, sustainable future for West Cumbria.”
Andrew King, Chief Executive of ENERGUS, said: “The team, having been focussed on delivering an iconic facility on time and in budget, is already hard at work on the next stage of making ENERGUS a successful business.
“We will build on our partnerships with the nuclear industry, NSAN and the University to create something that West Cumbria can shout about, a centre of excellence for skills training, education and business support, and, as today has proved, a fantastic venue for events and conferences.
“I hope this is just the beginning of ENERGUS playing a major role in the development of the Energy Coast.”
Students from St Benedict’s Catholic High and Cockermouth schools helped the Minister open ENERGUS after winning an engineering and technology competition to design a solar powered vehicle.
The competition, featuring seven schools, was held earlier in the week at ENERGUS and was judged by Malcolm Wilson, Managing Director of Cumbria-based international rally firm, M-Sport.