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First Minister opens £6 million Energy Centre at Coleg Menai
The state- of-the-art facility houses some of the best low carbon energy technology, equipment and training facilities in the UK. It is hoped the Centre will help to ensure Anglesey is at the forefront of skills provision to support the growing energy sector. The building itself has sustainability at its core with the latest in low carbon technologies utilised in its construction.
At the launch, the First Minister said the Energy Centre was an integral part of Anglesey’s drive to make itself an ‘energy island’:
“Climate change is one of the greatest environmental, economic and social challenges facing the planet. Our future well-being, both material and social, will be dependent on achieving sufficient supplies of affordable low carbon energy.
“I had the opportunity to discuss the vision for this important facility with Coleg Menai, Anglesey County Council and representatives from the energy industry on my first public engagement as First Minister in North Wales. The Centre is now complete and ready to play a vital part in the success of the Energy Island initiative. This, together with the recent announcement by the Welsh Government of Enterprise Zone status for the island, has the potential to transform the local economy.
“Wales once led the world in carbon-based energy. Our goal now is to do the same for low carbon energy. This is a challenging but exciting and vital agenda. The Centre will ensure that we have skilled and talented people ready to work in the hugely important energy sector in North West Wales and beyond.”
Mr Jones added:
“The Principal of Coleg Menai, his team and their partners in the public and private sectors deserve praise for their work to develop such an outstanding facility. I wish every success to the Centre, and to the Energy Island initiative.”
Speaking at the official opening, Dafydd Evans, Coleg Menai principal said:
“The First Minister was one of the first people to see the foundations being laid for the Centre and it is fitting we welcome him back to see the project come to fruition.
“A great deal has changed in the world economy since that initial visit and it is more important than ever that our young people have the necessary skills to compete for jobs in any sector. However this Centre is unique in being able to provide skills and training for the low carbon energy industry. This is crucial to our economy as the sector is expected to offer considerable growth potential both locally and nationally in years to come.”
The Energy Centre will offer specialised courses for young people to train to work in the energy industry.
Sasha Wynn Davies, Anglesey Energy Island Programme Director said:
"The Energy Centre demonstrates Coleg Menai's real vision and commitment to maximising the very real opportunities arising from the existing Wylfa nuclear power station, proposed Horizon Nuclear Power new nuclear build at Wylfa and wider Energy Island projects.
“Coleg Menai is a key partner of the Energy Island Programme and this is a major step forward for the College in taking the lead in North Wales and potentially beyond in Energy Skills provision."
Jean Llewellyn OBE, Chief Executive of the National Skills Academy Nuclear said:
"The new Energy Centre is an excellent facility for the delivery of current and new courses and will play a key role in supporting a seamless career pathway for local learners into the nuclear sector. The Centre will provide the specialist welding & steel fabrication skills that are needed for nuclear decommissioning at the nearby Wylfa Power Station, and also for the construction of new nuclear build. We will have use of the facilities at the Energy Centre which will enable our services to be brought right into the heart of the North Wales nuclear activity.”
The Energy Centre will also house the most advanced welding and fabrication facilities in Wales, a business innovation department and first-class conference amenities.