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Up to 500 more students across West Norfolk will soon be able to access greater science and technology skills and training with a new Higher Education centre in King's Lynn being awarded £6.5million of government funding. The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership secured the funds to build the new facility for the University Centre West Anglia, a partnership between the College of West Anglia and Anglia Ruskin University, as part of the Government’s Growth Deal. The new 2,000m² centre will provide higher level education and training in areas such as science, technology and management and promote higher skills and qualifications in the area. The facility will include 14 digital classrooms, a 120-seat multimedia lecture, offices and social space. The university centre aims to address the skills and employment gap in Fenland and West Norfolk, with many employers currently looking outside the area for new recruits.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP said: "One of our key priorities is to develop a regional workforce that has the skills to meet our fast-growing and vibrant economy, so it is great news that the government has backed this project. This will bring a wider range of university-level education to West Norfolk, inspire hundreds of youngsters and ensure that they have the right qualifications and training for their future careers." CWA principal and chief executive David Pomfret said: "I am absolutely delighted to hear the application for funding for a brand new higher skills centre in King’s Lynn has been approved and would like to thank the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for recognising and supporting the need for this facility in the West Norfolk area.

"This new flagship building for the University Centre West Anglia will create a high quality teaching and learning facility not currently available within a 40 mile radius of King's Lynn and will offer new opportunities for progression in learning and skills directly related to the requirements of the local and regional economy. This is crucial both for the education and training needs of local people and for the success of local businesses and employers." The project already has planning permission and will begin construction in 2015.

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