The hub, which has been set up in partnership with OHM Energy, officially launched at Hampden Retail Park on Friday, October 7.
East Sussex College was selected to establish one of five new decarbonisation academies across Sussex to support the development of skills in retrofitting and green energy installation.
In attendance at the hub’s unveiling were CEO of Eastbourne Borough Council Rob Cottrill, Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell, CEO and principal of East Sussex College Rebecca Conroy and managing director of OHM Energy Jason Lindfield.
The hub was officially opened by TV presenter and author Simon Reeve.
The hub will be home to some of the college’s adult provision and will also be utilized by 16-19-year-old learners. The center will support local authorities, construction employers, homeowners and businesses to improve insulation and install green energy products in commercial properties and housing.
Mr Lindfield said: “This is a proud occasion, not only for OHM Energy, but for the area, as years of work to bring the political, environmental and commercial together is realized. Anyone who has been in the renewables industry for the last two decades knows how hard and volatile the market can be, and anyone in and around public/private sector partnerships appreciates how hard this is to get right.”
The ESC principal added: “This center is the fruits of an enormous amount of partnership work. You’ll see what that partnership has delivered for us, this massive opportunity to build the skills that the community really needs in a niche area. It’s a really exciting time. This whole partnership was funded through the Strategic Development Fund, which is a partnership across Sussex with a range of colleges.”
Mr Reeve also said: “As a country we’ve got to grasp the opportunities of the green industrial revolution now. We’ve got to innovate, develop, and that means we all need to rise to the challenge, including our colleges and counties, just as is being done here at ESC training hub. You are showing the rest of the country the way, and that’s why this green energy training hub is so important. It’s why I am so happy and honored to be here.”