Gloucestershire College unveils new Cheltenham facilities as part of the West of England Institute of Technology

Proudly part of the West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT), Gloucestershire College (GC) is thrilled to reveal the brand new cyber and engineering facilities located at their Cheltenham campus.

The WEIoT is one of only 12 national Institutes of Technology licenced by the Department for Education to support local employers in developing higher level skills and to train employees for the jobs of tomorrow. The ethos of the WEIoT is to open up university level education to all sectors of the community and support GFirst LEP’s local industrial strategy.

As part of the WEIoT, GC secured £3 million to invest in 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.

GC’s brand new WEIoT facilities are equipped with the latest hardware and software, providing students and apprentices with the optimal environment to learn and put cutting-edge theory into practise.

The WEIoT computing and cyber facilities are made up of eight computing labs, cyber-forensics tool kits, collaborative working areas and study pods. The jewel in the crown is the cutting edge attack and defence room. Powered by Intel Core i7-9800X processors, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Graphics Cards and a massive 32GB of RAM complete with 4K Ultra HD curved monitors, students and apprentices will be able to use the latest kit in the secure, off-network attack and defence room to test their skills against sophisticated simulated cyber attacks.

At GC’s Cheltenham campus, thanks to the new WEIoT facilities, the college offers engineering, computing and cyber university level courses and degrees delivered in partnership by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). GC has also recently become the first college in England to offer a cyber degree apprenticeship certified by the National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ.

Matthew Burgess, Gloucestershire College Principal & CEO, commented: “This is a major transformation for our Cheltenham campus. I’m delighted that our students and apprentices will have such an inspiring and motivational place to study, surrounded by the latest, industry standard equipment, matching the workplace.

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

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. This collaboration of industry, education and research will future-proof the region through the development of higher-level technical courses and career opportunities.

Claire Arbery, Director of WEIoT, commented: “The creation of the cyber training facilities really reflects those in industry, and will truly support businesses to be ready to flex and adapt their businesses to make the most of the full range of opportunities as the UK economy recovers and grows.”  

Located next door to GCHQ and The Golden Valley Development’s new Cyber Park, GC’s Cheltenham campus is strategically placed at the heart of Gloucestershire’s cyber-tech ecosystem.