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Grantham College vice principals talk about state-of-the-art renewable energy centre to open next year

Grantham Business Club heard from Grantham College and local businesses on how they are coping in the pandemic and what the future holds for them.

College vice principals Dr Steven Peacock and Lara Steptoe spoke at the virtual meeting of the club on Tuesday night, focussing largely on the opening of the college’s renewable energy centre in March 2022.

The development of the centre will mean the college can transform its engineering and link block buildings with workshops, equipment and digital learning which are of industry standard.

A new engineering and construction skills facility at the college will help address regional skills gaps. (45921318)
A new engineering and construction skills facility at the college will help address regional skills gaps. (45921318)

Lara said: “It has long been an ambition of the college to reduce its overall carbon footprint. The measures we have in place to achieve this have been set out in our low carbon plan which dates back at least 15 years.

“As a college we also want to educate our local community about the benefits to themselves and their businesses as they are becoming more environmentally aware and friendly.”

The meeting heard that the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise partnership (LEP) has invested £1.6 million in the renewable energy centre.

Lara added: “This will allow us to transform our existing engineering building and what we refer to as our link block buildings and they will be transformed into state-of-the-art centre of excellence for renewable energy and sustainability delivery.

“The infrastructure changes that we make will mean that the college is simultaneously reducing its own carbon footprint.”

Steven also focussed on other new projects at the college including its Institute of Technology. He said the institute will be opening on site from July in Stonebridge House which has been developed for the project. “Our Institute of Technology will focus on skills in engineering and digital and therefore link back to the energy centre in terms of the subjects we are focussing on.”

The meeting was also told about the college’s University Centre which is housed in the college’s other listed building, Elsham House. Steven said that the college has a wide range of courses available at university level. He said: “These are very successful, so much so that we achieved the silver teaching excellent framework award. We are able to offer HE courses to small groups at a lower price than the universities.”

The meeting was also given an overview of Grantham recycling company Environcom by its chief executive Chris Stevenson.

Chris said that the company was able to recycle or refurbish the vast majority of the e-waste items it deals with, only one per cent of which ends up in landfill.

The Grantham site recycles 750,000 fridges a year. In 2019, 56 per cent of the goods refurbished by the company went to mainland Europe where people in the likes of Holland, Spain and Italy like to buy second-hand white goods.

Grantham-born John Munn also spoke at the meeting about his company Zero Smart, a social enterprise which advises organisations on how to do their bit to solve the climate crisis.

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