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30/10/13: New £2m North West training academy opens its doors

A new multi-million pound state-of-the-art training academy in Lancashire has officially opened its doors today. Steve Johnson, chief executive for Electricity North West with the Duke of Westminster

The new complex, based in Whitebirk, East Lancashire, will create local job opportunities and train the next generation of technicians and engineers to help maintain the North West’s electricity supply and deliver a £2.6bn investment programme.

To mark the occasion apprentices and employees at Electricity North West, the company which owns and maintains the region’s electricity network, welcomed the Duke of Westminster for a special tour of the academy.

Steve Johnson, chief executive at Electricity North West, said: “I am delighted that our hard work has paid off and we can welcome the Duke of Westminster to officially open the doors to our brand new training academy.

“This is a fantastic development and it will allow us to grow our already successful apprenticeship scheme, with space for even more apprentices, A-level entrants and graduates joining our programmes. This growth is vital to ensure the North West’s network and our people are fully equipped to meet the challenges of the future.”

His Grace the Duke of Westminster, said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity of visiting this excellent new training facility. Above all, I have been so pleased to hear about the opportunities being created for young people to train, at various different levels, for work in this vital industry.”

Electricity North West funds specific electrical qualifications as well as vocational on-the-job training. Alongside school-leavers, the power operator also offers training programmes accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology which cater for both A-level students and graduates who are looking for careers in the energy industry.

The new academy incorporates five workshops, classrooms, office space as well as associated amenity spaces, including outdoor training facilities.

The design of the building complements Electricity North West’s strategy for a sustainable future by minimising energy demands of the building, and as a result maintaining a low carbon footprint.

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