During a tour of Coleg Cambria’s £14.6m Deeside Sixth Form Centre, Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language Eluned Morgan paid tribute to staff and students.
The Minister was joined by Chief Executive David Jones, who showed her around the revolutionary education and IT complex, built by Bodelwyddan-based Wynne Construction and opened by First Minister Carwyn Jones in 2016.
The modern facilities include a library and student support hub, an art studio with open air terrace and a product design suite with 3D printer and laser cutter, science labs, ICT and Mac suites, and contemporary lecture theatres.
She also enjoyed a music lesson with lecturer Tim Heeley, who learnt Welsh under the tutelage of mentor and colleague Elin Roberts as part of the Welsh Goverment-funded Welsh in FE initiative.
Following the visit, the Minister said: “It was a pleasure to visit Coleg Cambria’s Deeside Sixth Form Centre and to see the fantastic facilities which have been supported by our 21st Century Schools programme and to hear about the college’s plans for further development to meet the needs of learners in the area.
“I am in the middle of visiting all the FE colleges in Wales and so far I have been very impressed with the students and staff I’ve met and the facilities I’ve seen.
“With both vocational and academic qualifications, they have something to suit everybody and I would urge anybody thinking about improving their skills to have a look at what their local college has to offer.”
Mr Jones thanked her for taking the time to experience the centre firsthand, and said the college has gone from strength to strength since its opening.
“It was a pleasure to have the Minister with us today,” he said.
“I would like to thank her for visiting us and congratulate our students and staff for the vision and passion with which they spoke of their work.
“This amazing facility could not have been developed without the support of the Welsh Government and the partnership that the college has established with Flintshire County Council and local schools.
“The centre is inspiring sixth form students to follow their chosen career path and develop their academic and social skills, and the Minister welcomed that.
“We also have strong links with business and industry and are championing the Welsh language in everything we do, which is vital as we continue to improve and build for the future.”
The state-of-the-art three-storey building was designed to be highly sustainable, promoting the use of natural daylight and ventilation whilst also incorporating a number of sustainable technologies including air source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting, LED lighting and solar panels.
For more information on Deeside Sixth and the other new facilities at Coleg Cambria, visit www.cambria.ac.uk/facilities