Blackburn College officially open their Regional Automotive Technology Hub

Blackburn College officially opened their newest development today as part of their campus regeneration.

Auto Hub Opening

The £5.6m Regional Automotive Technology Hub (RATH) is set to revolutionise facilities for students who want to work in the motor vehicle industry.

The purpose-built building includes an MOT testing lane, rolling road, open plan workshops, a motor vehicle diagnostic iLab, five classrooms, an IT suite and two joinery workshops.

Blackburn College’s new centre will accommodate a range of courses including Light Vehicle, Auto Electrical and Motorsport, which are accredited by nationally recognised awarding bodies City & Guilds and IMI Awards.

Phil Watson CBE, vice chair of the corporation board, who officially opened the Regional Automotive Technology Hub, said: “This building is the penultimate developments to complete the college campus, the final building being the sports and leisure centre.

“The college used to be known as ‘The Tech’. I suppose now it should be known as ‘high-tech’.

“This is consistent with the ethos of our founding fathers of the college some 125 years ago in seeking to upskill our residents to benefit from jobs created by the new technologies of the day.”

Guests at the opening event were treated to a range of cars on display including the new BMW i8, a Skoda rally car and a host of Maserati’s, as well as an F1 simulator and The Stig.

Amongst the guests was four times World Superbike Champion Carl Fogarty, who was full of praise for the centre.

“This is a fantastic facility, not just for Blackburn College but the whole of  Lancashire,” he said.

“It's great to have an amazing asset like this right on our doorstep - there was certainly nothing like this when I left school and trained to be a mechanic before taking up racing.

“Hopefully it will inspire young people to pursue a career in the automotive industry."

Andy Turner, managing director of the Chorley Group and one of the partners involved in the project, said: “This is a massive boost for the motor industry in Lancashire and beyond.

“Students at Blackburn College will be able to access some of the very latest technology which will help to prepare them for a career in the motor industry.”

Regional Auto Hub