NESCol benefits from local benefactor’s £700,000 funding boost

May 1, 2024

North East Scotland College has received a £200,000 donation from a local business – taking the benefactor’s total investment since 2021 to £700,000.

The company, which has asked to remain anonymous, has made the contributions to support specific projects at NESCol’s Fraserburgh Campus. All are designed to enhance opportunities for learners and community organisations in the town and surrounding area.

Previous projects have included the creation of a Future Skills Zone and Future Skills Workshop to foster skills in digital, robotics and green energy. An Esports arena to support the delivery of computing courses has also been financed from previous donations and is due to open within weeks.

The latest tranche of funding will finance the purchase of vital equipment including hydraulic training rigs, additional 3D printing equipment and enhancements to infrastructure at the Fraserburgh Campus. A portion of the donation will also be put towards new radio equipment for the Scottish Maritime Academy in Peterhead, a NESCol centre of excellence serving the fishing and maritime industries.

Neil Cowie, Principal and Chief Executive of NESCol, said: “The challenges facing the College sector are well documented – a succession of real-terms cuts to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government, via the Scottish Funding Council, have put significant pressure on us at a time of increased demand and huge opportunities across the region.

“That adversity means we must innovate and find new ways of supporting the ambitions we have for NESCol and for all who fall under our wing. More than ever, the support of partners and stakeholders is essential and the latest donation from our Fraserburgh Campus benefactor is a wonderful example of that collaboration in action. We hope it may encourage other supporters and employers in the region to consider similar partnerships.

“The generosity this company has demonstrated, without seeking any recognition in return, is hugely appreciated by all connected with our College. The £700,000 gifted to date is an investment in the future of the campus and in the future of the communities it serves. We are determined to repay the faith being demonstrated in NESCol by ensuring it helps individuals to access exciting new opportunities that help them to fulfil their potential and education, work and life.”

The latest projects are planned for delivery in the 2024/25 academic year. Applications for full-time courses starting in August, across all NESCol campuses, remain open.

A spokesperson for the benefactor said: “The partnership we have built with NESCol is one we take great pride in and we have seen the impact the donations have had to date. We are pleased to be able to provide hundreds of students each year with the opportunity to gain access to new learning zones, technology and equipment.

“By working with NESCol the aim is to open up new opportunities for those learning at the Fraserburgh Campus and for the groups who make use of the facilities. There are very rewarding employment opportunities in the North East, as traditional industries grow and modernise as well as in new sectors, and we want the next generation to be in a position to make the most of those.”

Duncan Abernethy, NESCol’s Director of Business Development, said: “The College is very fortunate to have long standing relationships with the business community and we’re incredibly grateful for the backing we receive from our Fraserburgh Campus benefactor. It has allowed us to turn plans into reality in a way that just wouldn’t have been possible without this significant extra funding.

“We’re looking forward to delivering the latest set of projects and to providing NESCol students with a fantastic platform as they learn new skills and build knowledge that will serve them well as they look to the future.”

Pictured: NESCol Principal and Chief Executive Neil Cowie (left) and NESCol Director of Business Development Duncan Abernethy in the Future Skills Workshop at Fraserburgh Campus.