London South East Colleges is set to build a brand new aviation college in Bromley after the local council gave the plans the green light.
Located at London Biggin Hill Airport in the south-west of the borough, the college will aim to address the growing skills shortage and increasing need for aviation and aerospace engineers in London and the south-east. The Greater London Authority (GLA) is also backing the plans, contributing a £6.2m grant from its Skills for Londoners FE Capital Investment Fund.
“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,” said Sam Parrett, principal and CEO of London South East Colleges.
“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.”
The decision to back the college follows three years of work by the stakeholders, including two public consultations. While led by London South East Colleges and Biggin Hill Airport, the project is also supported by Bombardier, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, University of Greenwich, Virgin Atlantic and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
“If the UK aviation industry is serious about tackling the skills shortage, we must find new ways to grow our own talent,” said David Winstanley, chief executive officer of London Biggin Hill Airport. “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.”