The Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors met for their final meeting of 2018 at the prestigious premises of West Herts College in Hemel Hempstead on Thursday 15 November to learn about the plans for educational growth in line with the rising business economy in Dacorum.

Over 50 Business Ambassadors listened to presentations from: Gill Worgan, Principal of West Herts College, who spoke about the merger with Barnfield College, in Luton, and the role this will play in developing services and new income; Dr Kate Byford, Head of Degree Apprenticeships & Workforce Development at the University of Hertfordshire who outlined the Degree Apprenticeships offered by the University; and additionally from James Doe, Assistant Director, Planning and Regeneration, Dacorum Borough Council who discussed the steps being taken to protect Dacorum’s employment areas with the creation of an Article 4 Direction.

West Herts College – now in its second year at its redeveloped premises in Hemel Hempstead town centre – is due to begin work shortly on Phase 2 of the campus plan, via an additional £16million investment enabling the College to offer training in engineering and modern methods of construction.

Gill Worgan said: “At a time when public funding of further education continues to fall short it is vital that West Herts College meets the needs of local employers. Only by focusing on priority skills to boost productivity can the college deliver what’s needed while growing as a result of meeting this demand.”

To ensure a long-term sustainable future, West Herts College has spent the past three years investigating merger opportunities with neighbouring colleges, work which culminated in the summer with a successful bid to merge with Barnfield College in Luton. With due diligence now well underway the proposed date for the merger is 1 February 2019.

“Barnfield College is the right strategic fit and location,”said Gill Worgan, who confirmed the new combined college would have locations in Luton, Hemel Hempstead and Watford. “The M1 growth corridor is a key economic area,” she added. “With the new college spanning three key towns in this region it will be able to offer a coordinated range of courses, apprenticeships and services.”

Congratulations also to Hermes Group who are the first occupier on the new Prologis Park in Hemel Hempstead, which sits within the Enviro-Tech Enterprise Zone. Hermes have signed a lease agreement for an 80,000 square foot distribution centre, which will create 80 plus local jobs. The first meeting of the Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors in 2019 on Thursday 24 January will be taking place at Prologis Park Hemel Hempstead, giving Business Ambassadors the opportunity to tour this new Grade A industrial/distribution space.

For further information, visit www.investhemel.co.uk or contact Gary Stringer, Ambassador Place Manager, on tel: 01442 228808.