University receives further £7million funding for engineering hub

6 October 2017

Canterbury Christ Church University has secured a further £7million funding for the development of its new engineering hub.

The funding has been awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund. The fund provides targeted investment in strategic projects led by universities and colleges and supports a number of key priorities, including innovation in higher education, efficiency and effectiveness, and student interest issues.

The £7million award is in support of the University’s plan to develop a Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise Hub - EDGE Hub.

The Hub will provide a specific focus on skills development in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It also supports the Government’s new Industrial Strategy’s focus on science, engineering and technology as economic drivers.

In partnership with local industry expertise, the University will deliver a new industry-informed flexible curriculum in Engineering, Product Design and Technology. This new exciting partnership will benefit Kent and the wider region by addressing higher level skills shortages in STEM subjects and support the regional economic growth.  

The importance of this development was recognised earlier this year when the University received initial funding of £6.2million from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, said: “We are delighted to be awarded further funding for EDGE Hub by the HEFCE Catalyst Fund.

“EDGE Hub will be an important facilitator for boosting high-level STEM skills and education opportunities locally. By working in partnership with local businesses and stakeholders we will be able to respond to the need for more trained STEM specialists; inspiring a generation of young people from all backgrounds and equipping them with the high quality skills they need for a rewarding career in engineering, science and technology.”

Yvonne Hawkins, HEFCE’s Director for Universities and Colleges, said: “This is an exciting project to develop new engineering provision in the South East and complements other similar investments we have recently made in engineering and STEM across the country.

"Our support is part of a significant investment package involving the University, the LEP and employers, and will help to deliver new, high quality skills and enhanced employability and employment opportunities for students. We look forward to seeing the engineering hub develop and working with the university to realise the benefits for students and the economy”.

Christian Brodie, Chairman of SELEP, said: “This is exactly the type of project that we want to see coming forward in our roles as champions for economic growth in Kent and Medway alongside East Sussex, Essex, Southend and Thurrock.

“It is driven by our area’s Higher Education community that recognises it is integral to the success of supporting the creation of high value employment, business growth and local investment in Engineering and Technology businesses.”

The University’s plan to expand teaching and research in the sciences is part of its wider ambition to transform its main campus in Canterbury, following the purchase of the former Canterbury Prison site in 2014.

The funding will contribute to the construction and equipment costs of the new facility, which will be located in a new building on the former prison site, with satellite facilities at Discovery Park, Medway and other parts of Kent.

Notes to editors

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With 17,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • Over 94% of our UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2015/16 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey

Catalyst Fund

HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund provides targeted investment in activity led by universities and colleges. The fund supports a range of student and sector priorities, including innovation in higher education, efficiency and effectiveness, and student interest issues. Read more about the Catalyst Fund here -

Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.

If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact DCLG press office by emailing in the first instance to request any additional information you might need.


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 23:35:00