The borough is set to benefit from a pioneering Aerospace and Technology College – with plans being given the green light by Bromley Council’s planning committee last night.
London South East Colleges is leading the project, in partnership with London Biggin Hill Airport, where the new college will be built. The GLA is backing the plans, contributing a £6.2m grant from its Skills for Londoners FE Capital Investment Fund.
The new college will offer exciting career opportunities for young people across the region, providing high quality educational pathways into the expanding aviation industry. Students will experience a real working environment, benefiting from expert tutors and industry-standard facilities.
The provision will help address the growing skills shortage and increasing need for aviation and aerospace engineers across the London, the south east and beyond. The airport itself plans to create 2,300 jobs over the next 20 years.
Last night’s positive decision by the Council’s Planning Committee follows three years of extensive work, carried out by London South East Colleges, in partnership with London Biggin Hill Airport. The College has worked with local residents, stakeholders, businesses, councillors and planners to develop the proposals, carrying out two public consultations as part of the extensive planning process.
Key employer partners supporting the project include: Bombardier, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, University of Greenwich, Virgin Atlantic and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, Sam Parrett, says:“We are absolutely delighted to have received the go-ahead from the London Borough of Bromley to begin building the London Aerospace and Technology College in partnership with London Biggin Hill Airport.
“The new College will help address skills shortages in an expanding and economically-significant sector. It will also provide young people with a wealth of job opportunities in an industry they may never have before considered for a career.
“We are grateful to the Council, the GLA, the airport, our employer partners, local residents and all our stakeholders for their ongoing support and their recognition of the value of this project. This is a win-win for the whole community.
“We now look forward to turning the plans into reality and look forward to welcoming our first cohort of students next year.”
David Winstanley, chief executive officer, London Biggin Hill Airport, says: “If the UK aviation industry is serious about tackling the skills shortage, we must find new ways to grow our own talent. The London Aerospace and Technology College is a game changer that will create a new generation of skilled aircraft engineers to meet the needs of aviation today and for years to come.
“London Biggin Hill Airport is proud to be the future home of a specialist college that will leave a lasting legacy, creating careers for young people across London and the South East.”
Cllr Melanie Stevens, says "I am delighted with the news that that London South East Colleges can now go ahead with the development of this pioneering Aerospace and Technology College.
"By working in partnership with London Biggin Hill Airport, the College has secured £6.395m inward investment to Bromley from the Mayor of London, in recognition of this very important strategic development. It is, quite simply another great reason why Bromley is a great place to live and to do business. As a local ward councillor, I have been in full support of this exciting project and look forward to it opening as planned next year."
Construction work on the new college is expected to begin in the Autumn, ready for a 2020 opening.The College will offer pathways to accreditation and professional qualifications within aviation
The aviation pathways are already underway at London South East Colleges’ Bromley Campus - offering progression into a broad range of jobs on the ground, including Cabin Crew and Aviation Operations.