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THE new university technical college in Burnley has been given a clean bill of health by education watchdogs a fortnight ahead of the first phase opening.

An inspection team has toured the Victoria Mill complex, including workshops, a lecture theatre, prototyping suite and activity studio, in Trafalgar Street ahead of the Visions Learning Trust launch on August 29.

More than 100 students have signed up for the university technical college (UTC), the first in East Lancashire, which will mix GCSE and A-level learning with a hands-on approach to learning.

Leading employers, the University of Central Lancashire and Liverpool John Moores University are all backing the £10.3 milllion venture, which is sponsored by Training 2000.

Martin Callagher, the college’s principal-cum-managing director, said: “We are all really excited to be at this stage of the development.

“We’ve been extremely busy getting all the staff in place and compiling the diverse curriculum, but it’s all going to be worth it when our learners walk through the door and start their journey with us.”

Coun Shah Hussain, Burnley Council’s executive member for regeneration and economic development, added: “This is such an exciting time for Burnley and I’m so proud that it was chosen as the location for the first UTC in Lancashire.

“The UTC will attract and open new doors for the young people of Burnley, Lancashire and beyond, engaging them with hands-on vocational training giving them a real flavour for life in the world of work.

“The UTC puts employers at its core, which is vital to young people and their future.

“The training will be geared to the requirements of local employers to provide them with skilled young employees who will be trained and experienced – the workforce of the future.”

Students and parents will tour Victoria Mill before the doors officially open.