Somerset

Weston College opens new £1.5m autism centre

A new £1.5m centre for young people with autism has officially opened in Weston-super-Mare.

The Weston Bay centre is based at the former Bay View Hotel on the seafront and is being run by Weston College.

The facility will provide training in life and social skills and independent living skills for those on the autism spectrum.

College principal, Dr Paul Phillips said it offers a "ground-breaking model of support" for autistic students.

It means students who live locally can be educated in North Somerset rather than at another specialist college outside the county.

The college has eight bedrooms and four flats, allowing residents to get used to living away from home, manage tasks including cooking and develop their social skills.

The centre's interior has been designed to a standard suitable for people on the autism spectrum and includes subdued lighting, analogue and digital clocks on the walls and minimalist decoration which promotes a "low arousal" environment.

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