Posted on Friday 21 September 2012 by Ulster Business

E3 photo 1

Marie-Therese McGivern, Principal and Chief Executive Belfast Met, Dr Adrian Johnston Chairman International Fund for Ireland, Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry and Belfast Met Chairman, Richard O’Rawe.

Belfast Metropolitan College has opened an £18m state-of-the-art building in West Belfast which aims to promote enterprise, employability and economic development.

The e3 facility, funded by the Department for Employment and Learning and the International Fund for Ireland, is designed to help enhance the employability skills of its students, stimulate enterprise through business incubation and delivery of innovative business development programmes, and foster enhanced approaches to economic development working closely with community partners.

The multi-million pound 5,000 square metre facility, located within Belfast Met’s Springvale campus, can accommodate up to 500 users on a daily basis. Its facilities include an animation and digital editing suite, TV and radio production studios, business incubation units and zones dedicated to manufacturing technology, catering, SME training and renewable technologies.

Opening the building, Employment Minister Stephen Farry said: “This impressive and highly innovative facility will provide a unique curriculum and learning opportunity for further and higher education and for research and development in North and West Belfast.

“Local companies across Northern Ireland are already reaping the benefits of the further education sector’s expertise, whether it be in prototyping and testing new products or ideas, carrying out training needs analyses, offering incubation facilities or developing bespoke training solutions to improve profitability.”

The Minister also said the campus would help to ensure that the local workforce have the necessary skills to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new and emerging technology industries.”

Marie-Thérèse McGivern, Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Metropolitan College, added: “This wonderful state-of-the-art building is poised to play an important role in the social and economic regeneration of North and West Belfast and in the wider economic resurgence of the city as a whole.

“Its completion represents a proud moment in the 100-year history of our College as we continue our long tradition of working collaboratively with business and industry in stimulating enterprise, enhancing the employability of learners and driving economic growth,” she added.

“We are thrilled to be in a position to offer such a wonderful, innovative and unique facility to our students, to the local community, to the business sector and to our many partners from right across both the public and the private sectors. I am certain that e3 will become a focal point for creative collaboration and that it will help support wider business growth and competitiveness.”

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