Revamped tower reveals new look
AN iconic landmark revealed a fresh look yesterday as the new University Technical College gets ready to open its doors.
The focal point of the UTC is the water tower which was yesterday unveiled having been completely refurbished.
Located on Bristol Street, the UTC sits in the heart of the former railway works.
It is hoped that as well as providing a top quality education, it will also breathe new life into the railway village.
Angela Barker-Dench, the principal of the UTC, said: “I am very excited to see the tower, which is looking fabulous.
“It is a focus for the UTC and shows how far everything has come.
“The building is now looking fantastic and the facilities are first class.
“The original buildings have been utilised brilliantly to celebrate the heritage of the area.”
Due to open next month, the UTC will cater for students aged from 13 to 19.
In the first year it will be operating at around 50 per cent capacity, with just under 150 youngsters signed up to start.
However, Angela is confident that by next year the UTC will be full to capacity.
She said: “At the moment, all parents and pupils have had to go on is an idea.
“We have not yet had a building or results to show them. When it comes to the next intake we will have far more to show them so I am extremely confident we will be full.
“The students we have coming so far are fantastic. After the GCSE results were released last week we invited many of them over so it was great to celebrate with them.”
The water tower is unwrapped
With a focus on engineering, the curriculum of the UTC has been put together with the help of local businesses to give the youngsters the skills they need so they can move into employment.
Council Leader David Renard said: “I do not think there is anything I have been more excited about in my political career than the UTC.
“I think this is the best the water tower has looked in more than 100 years and will be a real focal point for the town.
“It is going to really improve the fibre of this part of the town so ties in well with our plans for the town centre regeneration.
“This is the fruition of three years work from when we first went down to London to pitch Swindon’s case.
“There are more than 70 local employers signed up to work with the UTC so young people will get the skills they need when they go into the workplace.
“I believe every child going to a UTC has either gone to university or onto full-time employment so this can only be a good thing for the town.”
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