Tiny tots at Northampton College’s own nursery were given an exclusive look at how work is progressing on a new £4.75million building at Booth Lane.

The children, aged between two and four, were treated to a visit from construction staff working for the project’s main contractor Kier – who gave them an insight into how the new Advanced Construction and Engineering Centre is being constructed ahead of its launch next year.

Kier Contracts Manager Paul Nelson spent time reading a construction-based story to the youngsters and explained the equipment being used on the project. The children were then taken to a safe vantage point overlooking the site to see the construction activities and workers in action.

Nursery supervisor Jackie Ross said: “It was lovely for the children to find out more about the building they see on their way into nursery every day. We can see the cranes and the diggers from our window and now have a better understanding of what is happening.”

The ACE Centre will help train the next generation of builders, plumbers and decorators and teach pioneering new techniques aimed at equipping the workforce of the future with the very latest skills.

Building work on the centre, which will include a revolutionary ‘Digital Lab’ featuring a Virtual Reality classroom, 3D printing facilities and industry-standard workshop equipment, will progress throughout the winter and it is due to open in September 2019, providing a pipeline of ‘work-ready’ staff for local employers.

Paul Nelson from Kier said: “This project provides a key opportunity to help nurture and develop talent in the younger generation where we currently see an industry-wide skills gap. The ACE Centre will provide essential training to enhance the future for the construction industry, producing much-needed skilled trades operatives in a location where they are currently in high demand.”