West Lothian College is investing £500,000 in expanding its engineering and construction workshops to meet industry and student demand.

After a competitive tendering process, the college appointed Livingston-based company Maxi Construction to carry out the work.

The new workshop area will double the space on the college campus to deliver the practical aspects of engineering and construction courses. These updated and expanded facilities will enable the college to deliver even higher quality vocational learning to students and apprentices.

The work includes a new deck mezzanine floor in the existing workshop, a corridor linking to the main building, a new lift for materials, and an external fire escape.

The project is being part-financed through additional funding from the Scottish Funding Council announced last year to stimulate the local construction sector by college estates developments following the first lockdown.

Principal of West Lothian College, Jackie Galbraith said:

“It is great news for our students that we’ve been able to start this essential project during the pandemic. It means we can expand and improve much-needed workshop facilities so that students can benefit from them once we’re able to re-start practical courses.

“In this challenging economic climate I am delighted we awarded this £0.5 million contract to a local company, playing our part in supporting West Lothian’s economy.”

John Aitchison, Maxi Construction’s Managing Director, commented:

“We are delighted to be delivering this project for West Lothian College, and working with the project team to provide valued community benefits.”

Graham Clark is the director of the college’s faculty of computing, engineering and built environment. He added:

“The expansion of our workshops and the new equipment that will be installed will allow us to deliver an extended range of courses relevant to the construction and engineering sectors. This is great news for anyone wanting to work in those industries and for companies who need people with the right skills.”

Students will be able to take advantage of the new facilities when it is safe to do so in line with the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 guidelines.