South Devon College: Setting sights on Hi-Tech and Digital

Exciting times are on the horizon for South Devon College in Paignton. A key milestone in the latest development for the College’s higher education and skills masterplan took place recently, marking the Topping Out of the new Hi-Tech and Digital Centre. Due to open in September 2019, the innovative £17 million Centre will provide a visionary facility for further education and training support towards ever-expanding hi-tech, manufacturing, digital and creative sectors across Torbay, South Devon and wider regions.  The College has a very clear vision and strategy for growth over the next few years, working towards future “university status”, with further proposals being considered including future development of student residential accommodation, a brand new Sports Centre opening Spring 2018 and development with the South Devon Marine Academy on the River Dart.

In order to support and drive the vision forwards, the College has a very experienced Governing Body, valuing all the wide range of skills that each member brings. None more so that the newest member to join as a co-opted member of the College’s Project Board, Sally Rice, Partner at Michelmores in Exeter. The Project Board oversees major capital investment projects and co-opts skilled industry professionals to add further support and challenge to the College’s work.

Sally trained and qualified as a solicitor in Edinburgh, before qualifying in England and joining Michelmores in 2003 where she has been a partner since 2008. In addition to her role as a transactional lawyer, Sally is part of the trainee recruitment team at Michelmores. She has a passion for supporting education and training and regularly presents to law students attending open days, interviews trainee applicants, mentors and supervises the firm’s trainees. Sally’s work for local authorities includes regeneration schemes (residential and mixed use), infrastructure projects, funding agreements and the securing of loans and grants.

Sally explains why she is so passionate about being involved with South Devon College; ‘The opportunity to be involved in the realisation of South Devon College’s ambitious vision is really exciting. The College not only offers fantastic further education and facilities to students in the region, but is itself becoming one of the most dynamic growth businesses based in the South West.

When attending the recent Topping Out Ceremony for the Hi Tech Centre in October, I was particularly struck by the words of Fujitsu’s Head of Education, Ash Merchant, when he congratulated the College on its vision and highlighted how the College was providing facilities and creating opportunities for its students to prepare for employment in the digital age.’

The College has already had some fantastic success as a Fujitsu Education Ambassador, winning the Operation Innovation Challenge in 2017. By focusing on inspiring students and helping them realise their ambitions, South Devon College is making an important contribution to the future wealth and wellbeing of the South West region.’

Graham Fice, Vice Chair of Governors says ‘We’re delighted to have Sally’s expertise as a property lawyer available to the Project Board which oversees the College’s building programme. The expertise and support that she can bring to the College’s major capital investments is key at this crucial time.’

Take an exclusive look into your future Hi-Tech and Digital Centre:

The three-storey Hi-Tech and Digital Centre, designed by talented architects from the LHC Group, includes a link connection to the main Paignton Campus, with a further 15 dedicated work spaces for individual business units as well as two large, open plan collaboration zones, in addition to specialist computing, engineering and design facilities.

Take an exclusive look around the building now, using the following interactive 3D walk-through from LHC; www.lhc.net/SDC, available on smartphone, tablet and desktop devices.

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