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Ground Broken for Dynamic new Aerospace Facility

Farnborough College of Technology have begun development of a dedicated aerospace education, training and innovation facility – the Aerospace Research and Innovation Centre (ARIC) – following a ground breaking ceremony this December. 

Artist’s impression of the facility

This new facility is being developed in partnership with Enterprise M3 LEP who are co-funding the project, Hampshire County Council, Rushmoor Borough Council and Farnborough Aerospace Consortium. The College and its partners are also collaborating with local aerospace companies Airbus, Gulfstream, Tag Maintenance and 2Excel, who are providing insight and expertise into the facilities’ development.

Virginia Barrett, centre, with project partners

ARIC is set to become an iconic aerospace gateway, embodying and celebrating Farnborough’s aviation history. It will provide development for current and future aerospace engineers as well as support for entrepreneurial companies and established businesses, helping them to research and innovate for greater competitiveness and long-term sustainability.

The ground breaking ceremony took place at the ARIC site at the Farnborough College of Technology campus, attended by project partners, collaborators and building developers. The ceremony included speeches from Farnborough Aerospace Consortium, Enterprise M3 LEP, Airbus, Gulfstream and TAG Maintenance.

Speaking at the ceremony, Principal CEO of Farnborough College of Technology, Virginia Barrett, commented: “Today is a celebration of innovation and partnership. We have come together with stakeholders to identify a need and have invested in this new facility to meet that need.”

Dave Axam, Chair of Enterprise M3 LEP, commented: “In Enterprise M3 we have a strong knowledge led, design and digital based economy which proudly includes world leading Aerospace and Space companies. As part of our Revive and Renew economic plan for the area we are delighted to support the Aerospace Research and Innovation Centre development at Farnborough College of Technology. This strategic development will ensure we continue to deliver the vital skills needed to this industry as well as providing people with exciting career pathways.”

Chair of Governors at Farnborough College of Technology, Martin Earwicker, commented: “One of the key aims of the College is to continue being relevant to the working world and provide our students with the skills that employers are looking for. The College has its origins in aviation, and we are excited to be investing in the next generation of aerospace professionals.”

The building is being developed by architect Bond Bryan, building contractor Amiri and project management company Fusion. Martin Tidby, Managing Director of Amiri commented: “We are delighted to be working collaboratively with Farnborough College of Technology on their new build aerospace teaching block. We look forward to delivering an extraordinary project, the Amiri Way. This is the latest of a number of projects we have built in the education sector that have had LEP funding and further support from the private sector and we are delighted to bring that experience to the scheme.”