Government Minister visitA government minister has backed a pioneering new college in Greater Manchester that will train a new generation of health and social care professionals.

The partners spearheading the Bolton College of Medical Sciences (BCMS) briefed Exchequer Secretary, Simon Clarke MP on Thursday 15 August.

The state-of-the-art facility, a joint venture between the University of Bolton, Bolton College, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Bolton Council, will transform how NHS workforces are trained.

Professor George E Holmes, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bolton, said: “This is arguably the most significant development for the university, the hospital and the town for a generation.

“The project is a game-changer in delivering the skills gap in sub-regional health professions.  I am delighted that the Treasury Minister was so supportive.”

Bolton Council Leader, David Greenhalgh said: “It was a pleasure to be able to share our plans for the project with the minister. Bolton College of Medical Sciences will provide such a unique model in terms of training, the likes of which has not been seen before.”

Cllr Sean Fielding, GMCA Lead for Employment, Skills and Apprenticeships, has previously expressed his support for the project. He said: “The GMCA is proud to be supporting the proposed Bolton College of Medical Sciences and have committed £10m from the Local Growth Fund.

“The new facility will offer improved pathways and state of the art facilities for learners in the medical sciences sector.”

Mr Clarke was in Greater Manchester as part of a nationwide tour to renew the Treasury’s support for the Northern Powerhouse. He visited Bolton, Farnworth and Astley to see how devolution is delivering for people outside of the major cities in the region.

BCMS will provide practical training within simulated hospital environments, able to teach 3,000 students a year and 1,000 apprentices in a range of health and social care roles. The facility is expected to welcome its first intake of learners in 2022.

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