University technical college proposed for Swindon

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Plans have been put forward for a university technical college in Swindon, the borough council has said.

The plans include a facility for 14 to 19-year-olds to learn vocational skills in areas including construction and engineering.

Swindon College and Oxford Brookes University have both confirmed their involvement in the project but would not comment further.

The cabinet will debate the plans on 19 October.

'A good thing'

David Renard from the Conservative-controlled council said: "We've got some very technical business in the town already and we need to ensure that those businesses have got a workforce for the future.

"We've started discussions but potentially this could be the stepping stone to the ultimate ambition of getting a university for Swindon."

Mr Renard said following cabinet approval an application would be made to the government to secure funding for a city centre location.

Jim Robbins, who works for Villiers Park Educational Trust which helps young people get a place at university, said he supported the idea.

"It's not a university and it's not going to bring a university to Swindon, but if it does bring something that gives pupils in Swindon the chance to get great skills in engineering and technology then it's probably a good thing," he said.

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