HRH The Duke of York, KG has visited Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form to formally unveil a plaque confirming its position as one of only a handful of colleges in the UK to have achieved prestigious STEM Assured status. His Royal Highness visited the College as part of his continued focus on recognising institutions that support the United Kingdom’s global reputation for Science and Engineering expertise.

Students and staff at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form were thrilled to welcome The Duke of York to the campus on Friday 30th November. As a Beacon College, Nelson and Colne is a leader in innovation and is the only College in East Lancashire to have been granted this kite mark in excellence by the NEF (New Engineering Foundation). Therefore, it was keen to show His Royal Highness some of the highlights of innovation and enterprise in Pendle education.

To begin the visit, The Duke of York visited the College’s commercial restaurant Farringtons. Here, His Royal Highness was able to meet with a number of students and speak with them about their enterprise projects, including their involvement with Nelson Town Centre’s Portas Pilot project. In addition to representatives from the College’s Business department, The Duke of York met with hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Catering students to learn how they are given experience of working in real-life environments within the College.

Afterwards, the College Principal, Amanda Melton, gave His Royal Highness a tour of some of the College’s impressive science laboratories, where he was able to meet more students and watch an array of STEM experiments and displays which highlighted the students’ notable talents. In speaking with staff and students, The Duke of York was able to learn more about the College’s STEM status and why the governing body felt the College was worthy of receiving this top accolade.

To conclude his visit, His Royal Highness then met with dignitaries including the Mayor of Pendle, Councillor Asjad Mahmood and the Mayoress, Mrs Samina Khan, Deputy Chief Executive & Director (Services) of Pendle Borough Council, Mr Philip Mousdale, local MP Andrew Stephenson and Councillor and Chairman to the Board of Governors at the College, Mr John David before formally unveiling the plaque awarded to the College to acknowledge its STEM Assured status.

College Principal, Amanda Melton said, “I am incredibly proud tohave welcomed The Duke of York to Nelson and Colne College to formally acknowledge our position as a STEM Assured College. He has experienced the ethos of enterprise and innovation at the College, which is at the heart of everything we do.  I must thank my wonderful team of staff, who are passionate about education and dedicated to their students’ continued success – it is their support and encouragement that ensures that the young people of East Lancashire go on to become a vital asset to the region. I would also like to give credit to the students, whose achievements have merited a Royal visit!”

HRH The Duke of York said, “I’m sorry I didn’t make it the first time around. I am delighted to able to see first-hand what the College is instilling in you all. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from – “can’t” is a word that should not exist in your vocabulary. I am very keen that all of you should aspire to be much more than you could ever have imagined. Certainly this College intends for that to happen. I wish you all every success.”