First look at college plans

The Old Gas Showrooms on the corner of New Market Street and Parsons Walk
The Old Gas Showrooms on the corner of New Market Street and Parsons Walk

BOSSES at Wigan’s ground-breaking new college have given the public a first glimpse of what the finished article will look like.

As contractors moved in to refurbish the former O&D Rushton warehouse in New Market Street last month, Principal Designate of the University Technical College (UTC) Chris Hatherall has published an artist’s impression of the future interior.

He said; “We specialise in process engineering for food and drink and environment technology - growing produce in a sustainable manner.

“We will have a process hall where students have facilities to produce their own cooking sauces and soups.

“They will be developing understanding of how to produce food and drink in commercial quantities to service the workforce demand in Wigan and across the region.

“We will also have a vertical farm, which is a globally unique concept and is one way of feeding large populations without flying in produce from abroad. It encourages people to grow using sustainable methods - aeroponics, hydroponics and aquaponics.

“There is potential for new technologies that rely on heat and light and we will take the waste we produce and convert it back into electricity and heat.

“The college is going to give young people aged 14 to 19 the opportunity to improve life chances because the curriculum is led by employers and what skills they need. I am looking forward to improving the prospect of the youngsters of Wigan.”

Employers looking to take on the students after their courses are invited to an event, led by Lord Kenneth Baker, at Wigan Youth Zone on April 9, at 10am. Interested parties need to email

Parents and students are invited to open evenings at Wigan Life Centre on February 21 and March 21 and at Wigan Youth Zone on April 9, from 7pm.