On Thursday 12th March 2020, Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Business and Industry), attended Boston College to officially open the Engineering, Manufacturing and Technology Centre (EMAT).

The new £4.3 million state-of-the-art centre was developed with funding from the Greater Lincolnshire Skills Capital Investment Programme (GLLEP) and Midlands Engine. The new building provides an industry-driven training facility that will stimulate growth and productivity across the sector with its innovative workshops and suites. Acting as a hub for local engineering and manufacturing, the centre offers the opportunity for agri-tech businesses to create a partnership with the College to help train the engineers in line with industry needs. EMAT includes an innovative hub, two workshops that will provide space for traditional engineering and manufacturing skills and modern industry practices, an electronics laboratory, Computer Aided Design and Manufacture (CAD/CAM) suite, three classrooms, and a break-out space.

As part of the opening ceremony, Minister Zahawi was taken on a guided tour of the facility, where he observed and spoke with learners who are currently training to become engineers of the future, before delivering a short address to attendees and officially opening the Centre.

Following the official opening of the centre, Minister Zahawi said, “The new facility at Boston College brings together some of the UK’s finest academics, students and local businesses, all of whom will be instrumental to helping us realise the UK’s engineering and manufacturing potential.”

“By boosting crucial skills and fuelling local growth, this state-of-the-art building will help our local agriculture and manufacturing businesses stay at the forefront of the technology revolution.”

Other guests at the opening included Matt Warman MP, Mayor of Boston Cllr Anton Dani, Cllr Paul Skinner, Pat Doody (Chair of GLLEP) and Ruth Carver (GLLEP Chief Executive) as well as Boston College governors, local employers and school representatives.

Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The EMAT Centre forms part of the LEP’s £7.34m Skills Capital Investment Fund Programme, which aims to strengthen our local training infrastructure to respond more effectively to business needs and enable employers to upskill their existing workforce or attract relevant skills locally.

“Our £2.8m grant will support key strategic sectors and invigorate and support innovation for businesses, stimulating economic growth through access to resources and advice.

“As one of the key sites making up the emerging Lincolnshire Institute for Technology, the EMAT Centre will undoubtedly help our young people achieve their ambitions and realise their full potential.”

Boston College Principal and Chief Executive, Jo Maher added, “We are honoured that Minister Zahawi has opened our brand-new EMAT centre and extremely grateful for the support and funding provided by the GLLEP. EMAT is part of £10m learner focussed investment on our campus, to help develop the highly advanced knowledge, skills, and behaviours our learners need for careers in a technology-driven world.”

Boston College is delighted to be leading the way into Industry 4.0, developing and changing the future for the next generation of Engineers in addition to bridging the skills gap in the local and wider economy.

Pictured (left to right): Leader of the Council Cllr Paul Skinner, Peter Cropley – Boston College Chair of Governors, Mayor of Boston Cllr Anton Dani, Minister Nadhim Zahawi, Jo Maher – Boston College Principal and Chief Executive, Matt Warman MP, Pat Doody (Chair of GLLEP) and Ruth Carver (GLLEP Chief Executive)