First look: New multimillion pound cyber training centre at Gloucestershire College

A new multimillion pound institute of technology, bringing degree level computing and cyber education to all in Gloucestershire, has officially opened.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published

A new multimillion pound institute of technology, bringing degree level education to all, was opened by Gloucestershire College, this morning, Thursday 8 July 2021.

The new cyber and engineering facilities at its Cheltenham campus will be run as part of the West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT) – a joint collaboration including county businesses.

The WEIoT is one of only 12 national institutes of technology licenced by the Department for Education to support businesses in developing higher level skills.

Matthew Burgess, principal and chief executive officer of the college, which also has campuses in Gloucester and Cinderford, said: ‘This is a major transformation for our Cheltenham campus.

‘This is an exciting time for GC and will develop much needed technical skills and employability potential for our region.’

The ethos of the WEIoT is to open up university level education in computing and cyber to all of the community, supporting the industrial strategy of the county’s local enterprise partnership, GFirst LEP.

Gloucestershire College also recently became the first college in England to offer a cyber degree apprenticeship certified by the National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ.

It secured £3 million to invest make the core of the new WEIoT facility possible – its engineering lab equipment and a state-of-the-art cyber training centre known as ADA: The Advanced Digital Academy (named after Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer).

The institute is equipped with the latest hardware and software, with eight computing labs, cyber-forensics tool kits, collaborative working areas and study pods.

The jewel in the crown is the attack and defence room which will allow students and apprentices to test their skills against sophisticated simulated cyber attacks.

The WEIoT consortium of education providers includes Gloucestershire College, Weston College, UWE Bristol, Bath College, and Yeovil College as well as a network of key local employers, including; GE Aviation, Renishaw and Bamboo Technology.

Read more: 14 Gloucestershire cyber companies to watch in 2021

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