Blackpool illumination gets ribbon development
As befits a town with such a sense of theatre, Blackpool could hardly have an ordinary ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of its college's new University Centre.
And what better way to mark the opening of the #163;10 million centre just before Christmas than to wrap the whole 36m x 18m x 10m structure as a present. For good measure, the organisers then illuminated the whole building with a laser and light show, all set to music.
The centre has been built at Blackpool and The Fylde College's town centre site, offering students a campus environment for study and contributing to the wider regeneration of Blackpool.
Most of the college's degree courses, many validated by Lancaster University, will now be delivered at the centre. Blackpool and The Fylde is the country's fourth largest further education provider of higher education.
Pauline Waterhouse, the college's principal, said: "The creation of a University Centre for Blackpool marks a seminal moment in the history of the town, helping accelerate its most ambitious ever regeneration programme.
"We are not only addressing the skills agenda for Blackpool, but we can now offer local people who want to embark on higher education a modern, well-equipped premises where the learning and teaching experience will be first class."
The centre was funded in partnership with the Northwest Regional Development Agency and Higher Education Funding Council for England and supported by ReBlackpool, the town's regeneration company. The opening ceremony was sponsored by construction firm ISG.
The giant wrapping for the college will be recycled and made into all-weather windscreen shields to be given to staff and students in the new year.