King’s College London creates skilled jobs at new IT Centre in Cornwall
July 31, 2015
Invest in Cornwall
Up to 100 highly skilled jobs could be created in Cornwall following a decision by one of the world’s top 20 universities to locate its new IT Service Centre in the county.
King’s College London today officially opens its new Service Centre in custom-built premises at Quintdown Business Park, Quintrell Downs near Newquay.
The facility has already provided skilled IT jobs for 25 people from Cornwall, with 50 jobs expected to be created by the end of the year, boosting the local economy by more than £1million over the next 12 months.
The building has space to accommodate a total of 100 employees and is already providing an IT training centre of excellence, creating 4 skilled apprenticeship opportunities.
King’s College London chose Cornwall after a competitive pitch with other regions that was won by Cornwall Development Company’s inward investment service InvestinCornwall.
The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) supported the project with an investment of almost £180,000 from its Business Catalyst Fund, which was financed by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and managed by Cornwall Development Company (CDC) on behalf of the LEP and Cornwall Council.
The attraction of Cornwall’s skilled workforce, high quality yet competitively priced office space, superfast broadband and Newquay Cornwall Airport’s direct daily flights to London meant the county offered the best option for the prestigious university. The new King’s Service Centre is now providing all of the first line IT support required for King’s College London and its 26,000 students and 7,000 staff.
Professor Ed Byrne AC, President and Principal of King’s College London, said:
“As one of the top 20 global universities, King’s College London is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, learning and understanding in the service of society, and delighted to be extending that service to the West country. The world-class Service Centre we have established at Quintdown Business Park will bring vital new jobs to Cornwall, creating modern IT career opportunities for the county, and we intend to build on that with the ongoing recruitment of more local talent, as well as investing in the training and development of staff, and creating apprenticeships.”
Gareth Wright, Director of IT Services, King’s College London said:
“Technology services are vital to the success of King’s College, and it was essential we created a world-class Service Centre to facilitate the ongoing needs of the university, and its future success. This facility will be vital in enabling us to maintain our position as a world-leading university, and support King’s as part of our long-term strategy for growth.
“We looked at many locations across the UK, but Quintdown Business Park in Cornwall offered the perfect package with an impressive and highly skilled local workforce, good connectivity thanks to the proximity of Newquay Cornwall Airport, the opportunity to benefit from Superfast Cornwall’s £132 million investment in fibre optic broadband, and the tremendous support available from CDC and the LEP.
“As a Cornishman myself, I’m thrilled to see the centre bringing fantastic job opportunities to the county, as well as high quality vocational training through our apprenticeships.”
Chris Pomfret, Chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said:
“These are just the type of high value jobs that we want to attract to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and we extend a very warm welcome to King’s College London. It was a real team effort with Cornwall Development Company and the LEP working together and it proves that with our air links, quality premises and superfast broadband, Cornwall is a great place to do business.”
Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture, said:
“It is fantastic that King’s College London has decided to locate its new IT Service Centre in Cornwall. Cornwall Council and Cornwall Development Company work hard to promote growth in the economy and create new jobs in Cornwall. This inward investment is further evidence that Cornwall is a great place to do business and we look forward to other academic institutions following suit.”
Among those who have secured a job at the new Service Centre is 28-year-old Stevie Kennedy from Truro. Stevie is the IT Service Desk Manager. She said: “I’ve worked in the IT sector in Cornwall since 2007, having started as an apprentice. I heard about King’s Service Centre on the grapevine but assumed they would bring in their own management staff. I was overjoyed when I discovered that this was not the case and applied immediately. Had the opportunity to work here not come along, I would have looked further afield for work as there was nothing suitable for me in Cornwall; skilled IT job opportunities are really hard to come by in this region. It’s fantastic I’m able to stay in Cornwall and work at this level; King’s Service Centre is offering an amazing opportunity for people in the county like myself, and, through our apprenticeship programme we are also training the IT professionals of the future, which is really exciting.”
Rhys Morgan is a 20 year old apprentice Service Desk Analyst recruited in Cornwall. He said: “I found out about the role with King’s Service Centre through the St Austell College apprenticeship scheme. This job offer was great for me as it gave me the opportunity to work in an environment where I can provide assistance to others and reinforce what I already know whilst also learning new skills.
“The Service Centre is a great chance for people in Cornwall to get into IT. We have access to brilliant learning tools and support from many experienced colleagues and I feel like I’m learning all the time due to the wide variety of tasks I get to tackle every day.”