Friday 8th April marked a momentous occasion for Premier Marinas Noss on Dart as South Devon College Marine Academy officially opened its doors to stakeholders. The new Marine Academy has been 10 years in the planning and became a reality when Premier Marinas acquired the site and supported the development of the specialist training facility.

South Devon College Marine Academy Opening NW Mixed Content Block 952X664

The inauguration ceremony provided stakeholders with the opportunity to speak with students who will benefit from the new facilities as well as hear from former students like Jake Cronk, who studied Marine Engineering at South Devon College and credits it with launching his career. He completed an apprenticeship before going on to university to study mechanical engineering. He is now the Managing Director of Salcombe Marine Services in Devon.

Marine courses at the new academy span Further Education, Apprenticeships, Short Courses and Degree Level Study with students aged from 14 upwards; with a new foundation degree recently launched that focuses on maritime leadership and prepares students for work at sea on commercial vessels or in a management role ashore.

Key speaker at the opening event, Sarah Kenny, chair of trade body Maritime UK, acknowledged the hard work it had taken to get to this point. “These sorts of facilities don’t come about by magic,” she said. “If anyone wants to know why this college exists and why it matters, it’s the difference it can make not just in terms of young people’s lives but also the impact they can have on other people in terms of their training and their development and the local and broader economy.”

South Devon College NW Mixed Content Block

“The opening of this building is not only exciting for our current learners who now have access to top class facilities, workshops, class rooms and training space on the water’s edge, but also for the learners of the future and those who have been at the forefront of our conversations as we develop a relevant, growth focused and robust curriculum aiming to support marine and maritime growth in the South West and further afield,” said South Devon College Principal and CEO, Laurence Frewin.

“We feel very lucky to have the support, the investment of time, innovation and funds from our stakeholders, including Premier Marinas, as well as the incredible college staff and the local industry, and we all look forward to a bright future,” added Laurence Frewin.