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Northop College today welcomed Deputy Skills Minister Jeff Cuthbert and BBC wildlife presenter, Iolo Williams to officially open its new innovative Small Animal Care Centre.
The Deputy Minister and Welsh TV presenter joined Deeside College Principal David Jones and Chair of Governing Body, Paul Williams OBE to cut the ribbon on the new £1.8 million centre in a special ceremony that was attended by key figures from the local land-based industries, students, and local high school and primary school children.
It is hoped that the cutting edge facilities and leading resources available within the centre, which is home to over 100 different animals, will allow students at the college to develop a higher level of skills, meeting the demands of the local industries and providing an advantage when applying for highly fought after University places in courses such as Veterinary Care and nursing.
The centre, which boasts stunning viewing areas similar to those seen at a commercial zoo, incorporates 10 different habitats accommodating a range of animals from Marmoset Monkeys to Chinchillas, an iguana, rainbow and hog nosed boa snakes and scorpions. An impressive aquarium area accommodates fish from all types of water environments, with a dog grooming parlour, outside aviaries and kennels also available at the centre.
The new centre follows the opening of the college’s rare breeds farm in May 2010. With a total of 275 students studying an animal care course at Northop College, the two facilities are accessed by over 100 students on a daily basis. The centre is also utilised by students from Glyndwr University as part of their Degree programmes, and local high schools students have been making the most of being shown around the new facilities as part of taster events.
The centre which was built by Anwyl Construction, also boasts a number of green features, including rain water harvesting, sun pipes providing natural lighting, and air source pump heating.
Throughout the morning’s celebrations, guests were able to tour the centre, with students and school pupils making the most of special guest lectures by Iolo Williams.
Deeside College Principal David Jones said:
“It was a delight to welcome the Deputy Skills Minister and Iolo Williams to Northop College today to officially open the small animal care centre. The Centre, is sector leading and alongside our Rare Breeds Centre, will ensure that our students are learning the skills, and becoming familiar with the different environments they will need to know to successfully enter the animal care industry or move into higher education.
“These new facilities at Northop College mark the commitment that we have as a group of colleges to improve Land based education and training, enabling us to fully support the development of the surrounding industries.”
Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said:
“This development represents a clear commitment to the future of learners in North Wales, providing the opportunity to enhance teaching and learning and to create a world class education and skills centre dedicated to land-based learning and animal husbandry on this site. I am delighted the Welsh Government has been able to support this development, which is at the forefront of our transformation agenda.”
“We have an excellent relationship with Deeside College and this is the latest in a series of major contracts which we have carried out for them.
“Last year we completed work on the Learning Centre at the Northop campus which was voted the best new educational building in North Wales by local authority building control officers and we’re delighted to have again been involved in this latest prestigious project.”
Photos from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page, here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.347066658665144.75579.136757899696022&type=1
1. The official opening with Deeside College Principal David Jones, Iolo Williams, Deputy Skills Minister Jeff Cuthbert and Deeside College Chair of Governors Paul Williams OBE.
2. Iolo Williams, Principal David Jones and Deputy Skills Minister Jeff Cuthbert talk to student, Jess Blackwell.
3. Deeside College Principal David Jones, Deputy Skills Minister Jeff Cuthbert and Deeside College Chair of Governors Paul Williams OBE outside the new centre.