19 June 2009
Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, along with students from two West Cumbrian secondary schools, opened ENERGUS, a state of the art £20m skills, training and education facility at Lillyhall Business Park, Workington.
Following a keynote address by the Minister and a response on behalf of the local community by Workington MP, Tony Cunningham, over 200 key stakeholders from the energy industries, local community, local and regional government, and the education sector, witnessed a spectacular laser and fountain display.
ENERGUS is the first project of Britain's Energy Coast to come to fruition. It will be the northwest flagship for the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) and be home to the first presence of the University of Cumbria in the west of the county via a Learning Gateway.
Mr Miliband welcomed the launch, saying:
"ENERGUS is a positive symbol of West Cumbria's future. The Government wants to work with them towards the vision of developing the advanced green technology we need, providing real jobs, real training and real prosperity."
Workington MP Tony Cunningham said:
"I'm absolutely delighted that this day has finally arrived. Some of us have worked very hard on this project and the result is a world class facility right here in West Cumbria.
"We need to inspire our young people and encourage them to aim high. What better way of doing that than by providing a training facility that matches the best anywhere? "I'm pleased too that Ed Miliband's presence here today reinforces the Government's commitment to top quality training provision."
Dr Ian Hudson, Chairman of the ENERGUS Board, said:
"ENERGUS is an excellent example of partnership working, right from its initial concept and financing, through construction and fit-out and in the planning of today's launch.
"The West Cumbrian community, through local contractors, political and business support, and sheer hard work, should be justifiably proud of what we have achieved. By continuing to work together we can truly make ENERGUS a world class centre and a key part of the drive to build a successful, sustainable future for West Cumbria."
Andrew King, Chief Executive of ENERGUS, said:
"The team, having been focussed on delivering an iconic facility on time and in budget, is already hard at work on the next stage of making ENERGUS a successful business.
"We will build on our partnerships with the nuclear industry, NSAN and the University to create something that West Cumbria can shout about, a centre of excellence for skills training, education and business support, and, as today has proved, a fantastic venue for events and conferences.
"I hope this is just the beginning of ENERGUS playing a major role in the development of the Energy Coast."
Jean Llewellyn, Chief Executive of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear said:
"The launch of ENERGUS is excellent news for the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, the nuclear industry, and for its future workforce, and we acknowledge the tremendous efforts of Andrew King and his team in bringing such an iconic centre to fruition."
Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), said:
"This new facility is the flagship centre for nuclear skills development in the UK. The Northwest, and West Cumbria in particular, is home to over 50 per cent of the UK's civil nuclear workforce and the vast majority of its research excellence. The region has a vital role to play in ensuring that the UK maintains its competitiveness in this area and ENERGUS will help to identify and improve standards and training throughout nuclear industries across the UK."
Neil Harris, Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Cumbria, said:
"The University of Cumbria is delighted to be part of the exciting ENERGUS project for West Cumbria. The ENERGUS building is dramatic and futuristic, reflecting the entire inspirational concept of a learning and business centre fit for the 21st century."
Stephen Henwood, Chairman of the NDA, said:
"What has become ENERGUS started life as a concept for a Nuclear Academy in the NDA's original strategy, approved by Government in 2006. Three years later, that concept has been turned into reality. I'm delighted with the key contributions made by the NDA, both in terms of core funding to the tune of £5m and by professional support in a wide range of areas.
ENERGUS is a prime vehicle within our skills and capability strategy to build a high quality, sustainable workforce for our industry, and supports our socio-economic aspirations for the West Cumbrian community. I, and everyone involved with the NDA, wish it every success for the future."
David McNerney, HR Director with Sellafield Ltd, said:
"Sellafield is proud to support this iconic project. Sellafield must invest in its people and make them enablers to success to ensure that we are the site and community for future investment. The ENERGUS facility is a massive example of all of the investing partners' commitment to making the working population of Cumbria the very best it can be.
"We will make ENERGUS a cornerstone of an integrated higher and further education system for the whole of West Cumbria. We will develop an education programme that will take the best of the current training programmes from establishments like Sellafield, such as the award winning apprentice programme with our established partners at GEN II, refine and develop them and make them available to the wider community in the state of the art complex at ENERGUS."
Students from St Benedict's Catholic High and Cockermouth schools helped the Minister open ENERGUS after winning an engineering and technology competition to design a solar powered vehicle.
The competition, featuring seven schools, was held earlier in the week at ENERGUS and was judged by Malcolm Wilson, Managing Director of Cumbria-based international rally firm, M-Sport.
For further information on the day, contact Lynn Clark, Corporate Communication and PR Manager with University of Cumbria, on 07973 374533.
ENERGUS has been built on a 7.3ha site at Lillyhall, West Cumbria. It will be a delivery arm for the National Skills Academy for Nuclear and an integral part of the University of Cumbria's Energy Coast campus.
It is a key component within the skills and capability element of the Britain's Energy Coast concept. The Britain's Energy Coast™ initiative includes 29 regeneration projects in West Cumbria ranging from nuclear new build and new training and research facilities, such as ENERGUS and the National Nuclear Laboratory, to improvements to health services and significant investment in transport links, leisure, culture and sporting facilities. For more information, visit www.britainsenergycoast.com.
The project was funded through European Regional Development Fund, the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, North West Development Agency, Northern Way, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd and West Lakes Renaissance. Donations have also been received from other organisations.