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Plans for £17m engineering academy approved

A £17 million scheme to build the country’s first engineering academy for teenagers has been given the go-ahead by Children, Schools and Families Minister Ed Balls.

The centre, to be located at Aston University, will teach 600 pupils aged 14 to 19 in engineering specialisms alongside traditional GCSE subjects.

Students will work with the university’s engineering staff and pupils, as well as local and national businesses.

Pro vice chancellor Professor Alison Halstead said: “There will be a key focus on skills leading into education and local industry to help support the next generation of creative and innovative engineers.”

The academy, described by Mr Balls as “groundbreaking”, was designed by Bath-based architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

The institution will be the first in a series proposed by Lord Baker and the late Ron Dearing to bring vocational and academic education closer together.