A SPECIAL launch ceremony was held to celebrate the new multi-million pound University of Bolton sponsored “tech college”.

Lord Kenneth Baker was the special guest at the launch of £9 million The GM, a University Technical College (UTC) in Oldham — just weeks before construction gets underway for its first intake of 14-to-19-year-olds in September next year.

Guests were able to explore a simulated classroom in which engineering and construction — the GM’s specialist areas — will be taught.

University of Bolton Provost, External Relations, Dr Zubair Hanslot, whose background is in Engineering Mathematics, said: ”The University of Bolton is proud sponsor of the Greater Manchester Sustainable Engineering UTC.

‘We are a modern university focused on equipping students with the skills they need to pursue the profession of their choice. Our university has a strong engineering tradition — we trace our origins back to Bolton Mechanics Institute, founded in 1824, when we were one of only three in Britain.

“We have built a solid reputation for our engineering teaching and attract cohorts of students from as far away as East Asia.”

This summer the University of Bolton launched the Centre for Advanced Performance Engineering (CAPE), teaming up with RLR Msport to create a specialist, high performance engineering centre on campus.

Dr Hanslot added: “CAPE, developed in partnership with RLR Msport, is the first of its kind in the country. It is the only in-house and fully-functioning racing team on a University campus in the UK.”

The university plans to open a multi-million pound “tech college” for teenagers in Bolton suffered a setback earlier this year after the government failed to announce it was one of 13 due to open next September.