New University Centre Building opened by HRH the Duke of Kent

HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent KG, was welcomed to the University Centre Farnborough on Tuesday 14th November 2017.

Principal Virginia Barrett greets HRH The Duke of Kent alongside the Chair of Governors Martin Earwicker (far left),  Mayoress Attika Choudhary (middle left), and Lady Mayor of Rushmoor Sophia Choudhary (middle right).

The Duke of Kent was invited to view facilities, meet students and staff, and unveil a commemorative plaque, which marked the official opening of our new University Centre Farnborough building.

The new facility was funded by the college, with £2.61m Local Growth Fund from Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The new building houses a modern library, seminar and meeting rooms, and social study areas. Students also benefit from the use of the new Study Centre in an adjacent building, which houses a lecture theatre, study spaces, and further seminar rooms.

HRH The Duke of Kent speaking to Early Years degree students in the new University Centre library

Our University Centre Farnborough provides a large range of Degree programmes, such as Criminology, English Literature, Media Production, Engineering, and Sport Science.

HRH was able to visit Media Production degree students, who demonstrated how to set up lighting for a television show

The Duke of Kent was given a tour around the new building, and was also able to visit to the Aerospace and Automotive Academy building, which houses state-of-the-art engineering facilities and a Vehicle Workshop.

HRH The Duke of Kent speaking to Engineering students in our state-of-the-art workshop 

HRH speaking to Level 3 Vehicle Maintenance Apprentices and their tutor, John Guiver, about engine work in our Motor Vehicle Workshop

The Duke of Kent also had the opportunity to meet students studying degrees in Sport Science.

Sport Science degree student, Rupert Quiney, 27, from Guildford, said “As part of the visit, we showed the Duke a few power tests like jump training. He was very interested in what we were doing, and it was really cool to show him just some of the activities we do every day.”

HRH The Duke of Kent watches Sport Science students as they demonstrate jump training. 

As part of the celebrations, His Royal Highness was presented with a cake by Andrew Young, Farnborough College of Technology’s Catering Student of the Year. A member of staff made the cake in the shape of the new University Centre Farnborough building to mark the occasion.

Andrew presented HRH The Duke of Kent with a University Centre Farnborough themed cake

Farnborough College of Technology Principal, Virginia Barrett, said: “It was a great honour to welcome HRH the Duke of Kent to Farnborough College of Technology for the opening of our new building, The University Centre Farnborough.

“The College’s vision is to be a community University. Through our accreditation with the University of Surrey and the opening of this building, part funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership, we are able to grow with the needs of the community and provide full educational needs from A Level, vocational courses and apprenticeships right up to post graduate level.”

HRH The Duke of Kent unveiled the new University Centre Farnborough ceremonial plaque

Kathy Slack, OBE, Director, Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “Investing £2.61 million from our Local Growth Fund into this University Centre is critical to developing locally grown high level skills to keep businesses in Farnborough and the wider Enterprise M3 area globally competitive.”

Kathy Slack spoke on behalf of Enterprise M3 LEP

Guests and dignitaries joined HRH the Duke of Kent for the ceremony and tour. Amongst the guests were: Lady Mayor Sophia Choudhary and Mayoress Attika Choudhary; Professor Michael Kearney, Provost and Executive Vice President of the University of Surrey; Darren Smith, Airbus; and Sir Donald Spiers, chairman of Farnborough Aerospace Consortium.

Guests and dignitaries attended the opening of the new University Centre Farnborough building

If you’re interested in studying a Higher Education or Degree course with University Centre Farnborough, you can find out more here.


About Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.

Further information

If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact DCLG press office by emailing NewsDesk@communities.gsi.gov.uk in the first instance to request any additional information you might need.

Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects informed by detailed analysis of the most pressing economic needs in each of their areas, including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.


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