STAFF and students were buzzing with excitement as Weymouth College unveiled its new £250,000 facility, which will put its students at the forefront of the electric vehicles boom.

It came after Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) awarded £250,000 of the government’s Local Growth Fund to Weymouth College to establish a Centre of Excellence for Motor Vehicle Technology.

The redevelopment has upgraded motor vehicle workshop facilities and will add hybrid and electric vehicles to the college’s motor vehicle fleet.

There is also now a dedicated hybrid section of the workshop. Here, the college plans to offer Hybrid Level 2 courses.

The facility was officially opened in a ceremony yesterday. The ribbon cutting was attended by college staff, motor vehicle lecturers, local businesses and Dorset LEP Board Member, and Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ian Girling.

Brian Oman, head of the engineering school, said the investment has had a huge effect at the college with a "great air of anticipation" amongst students: "You can feel the buzz around the students and the staff.

"When you see that, it makes it worth getting out of bed to come into work in the morning."

George Major, a 29-year-old student at the engineering school, said: "They've done really well, we've got new cars and new tools so I'm more than happy with it all.

"They've definitely spent it wisely and I'm looking forward to working with the electric vehicles.

"It's a lot more technical because any one mistake and it can all go wrong."

Matt Prosser, CEO of Dorset Council, said: “Dorset Council’s vision is for Dorset to be a great place to live, work and visit. We live in a fabulous county and in order to keep that unique environment we need to look after it; one way we can do this is by reducing our carbon output. As the electric motor vehicle industry opens up, Weymouth College is equipping young people with the skills to be able to compete in future markets, adding value to Dorset’s economy.

"I'm going fully electric when I get my next car and I'm really looking forward to having it serviced by former students of this college.

"Congratulations to everyone who put this bid together and good luck to all the students who will be going through here."

Ian Girling, chief executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and board member of Dorset LEP, said: “This project has provided Weymouth College with fantastic facilities at the cutting edge of hybrid and electric vehicle engineering and manufacturing.

"These new facilities will give our next generation pioneering tools and teaching which will benefit our local economy and national vision for the future of transport.”