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Weston College Animal Management Centre

01 Aug 2019
Weston College is set to play a lead role in training the animal management staff of the future due to their new partnership with Puxton Park and funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The College has joined forces with Puxton Park, which will enable learners to develop industry-specific skills working within the park’s extensive farmland, facilities and wide range of farm and domestic animals, which will significantly enhance the employability skills of learners.
Puxton Park is providing 2050 m2 land to the College to create the new £1.4m Animal Management Education Centre. Significant financial investment has been provided by the College’s successful bid for £990,000 funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority.
The new centre will utilise low carbon techniques and create an inclusive education facility for delivery of the practical elements of the animal management curriculum. 
The centre will comprise of two classrooms, IT suite, storage, wash-space, toilets, office and a student breakout area.   
Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College, said: “Puxton Park is an outstanding and well-known venue, boasting a huge range of facilities, resources and animals.”
“This innovative and exciting partnership provides a wealth of opportunities for learners, to develop practical skills with species to suit everyone’s interests from reptiles to large farm animals through to birds of prey.”
“With future skills gaps identified and the excellent access of Puxton Park on the A370, this partnership will allow us to develop our animal management provision and provide learners throughout the region with the skills they need to succeed in this exciting industry.”
Chair of the West of England LEP, Prof Steve West, said: “We are really pleased to support the new Animal Management Education Centre being delivered by Weston College in partnership with Puxton Park. It offers a learning facility which will meet increased demand and provide a sustainable future for high quality education and skills programmes aimed at meeting the needs of employers in the visitor economy and land-based sectors in the West of England.”
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles said: “The new centre at Weston College will help prepare young people, apprentices and higher education students for successful careers in this important sector for the region. The use of low carbon techniques throughout the Animal Management Education Centre supports our ambitions for clean growth, as set out in our Local Industrial Strategy.”
Alistair Mead, Managing Director of Puxton Park, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with Weston College.”
“Puxton Park was originally built with the intention of being an educational working farm. Over the past 12 years, the park has grown in many ways; however, our roots as a place of learning and growth are deeply ingrained in everything we offer which is why we feel so passionate about supporting and working with future veterinary nurses, animal keepers, animal scientists, farmers and vets.”
The animal care sector is forecast to grow by up to 12% by 2024 and you can still join the College to start this September and be one of the first learners to benefit from this exciting opportunity. Find out more about the College’s animal management courses below:
Notes to editors:
·        Weston College is an Ofsted outstanding college of further and higher education in Weston-super-Mare. It provides education and vocational training to nearly 30,000 learners across the country. The College is regarded as one of the top FE colleges in the UK and won both “College of the Year” and “Overall Further Education Provider of the Year” at the 2015 Times Educational Supplement Further Education Awards. The Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College, Dr Paul Phillips CBE, was named as Further Education Leader of the Year in the TES Awards 2019.
·        Puxton Park is an award-winning family adventure park based near Weston-super-Mare. It provides animal talks, workshops and feedings, as well as indoor and outdoor adventure areas, water activities, rides and games.
·        Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth. By 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund.

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