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Crawley College student hand carves sign for local landmark

A historic site in Crawley has welcomed the arrival of a beautiful new sign – hand carved by a talented Crawley College student.



Ben David and Zuzana Peppett

The beautifully carved oak sign – commissioned by the Crawley Museum Society and produced by Ben David – will go on display at the Ifield Water Mill.

Ben, who is studying joinery at the college, spent two days working on the sign to ensure it was produced to a professional standard.

Trevor Francis, lecturer in carpentry & joinery, was impressed with how quickly Ben picked up the art of hand carving.

He said:
“Ben has produced a fantastic piece of work at his first attempt of hand carving lettering.

“He practiced on some pine and did so well that I quickly let him start on oak, which is harder. After less than three letters, I gave him the piece of oak for the sign. He then set all the lettering out and started carving.

“It has taken him about two days to complete and finish, with inserting holes for the fixings and then applying a preservative oil to help protect the timber from the elements.

“I have to say the quality of his work on this job was easily of a commercial standard. He should be really proud.”

The Crawley Museum Society, a local charity which runs two historic venues for Crawley Borough Council – Crawley Museum at ‘The Tree’ and Ifield Watermill in Rusper Road.

Visitors can observe the operational machinery and learn all about the history of the mill and the simple mechanical devices used to make work in the Mill easier.

Zuzana Peppett, treasurer of the Crawley Museum Society, said:
“Ben’s work and the connection with Crawley College will be commemorated within the exhibition and the society is keen to build a further relationship with the college.

“Ben’s sign will now be installed on the historic mill building.”


Crawley College unveils plans for state-of-the-art new STEM facility

Crawley College has revealed the exciting first stage in the development of its campus.



The college, which is part of the Chichester College Group (CCG), has unveiled plans to build a multi-million pound facility on the site, at College Road in Crawley, which will put the college at the cutting edge of training delivery in a whole range of subjects.

The new building will be home to a suite of modern teaching and interactive spaces, which will be used to integrate the use of technology and STEM (science, technology, engineering & maths) in to all subjects taught across Crawley College.

Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of CCG, said:

“We are very excited to be able to share our plans for the new STEM facility here at Crawley College.

“Working with employers, the council and the community, we recognise how important it is to invest in STEM and this new facility will give the college a specialist building to train students in advanced technologies, in turn ensuring that local people are able to fill local jobs in these industries.

“This is part of our long-term commitment to Crawley College and investing in the modernisation of our facilities for the benefit of young people in the local area.

“This will also be a centre that will be accessible to local schools, employers and the wider community – it will be a STEM centre that is not just for Crawley College, but for Crawley.”

The facility, which has received funding from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, will house cutting edge technology, including virtual and mixed reality technology.

West Sussex-based contractors W Stirland Ltd will be managing the project, which was approved at Crawley Borough Council’s planning meeting on Monday 18 November.

Shaun Stirland, Managing Director at W Stirland, said:

“We are really pleased to be working with the Chichester College Group on this exciting new development.”

Julie Kapsalis, Managing Director at CCG, added:

“We are aiming to address skills shortages in the engineering, construction and IT industries, providing high quality, employer-led training in industry-standard facilities.

“This in turn will help to drive career aspirations, enabling young people to gain the support and training they need to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in these industries.

“The new STEM facility will enhance the way we teach and introduce a whole new way of learning, which is more interactive, creative and engaging and will enable us to develop new courses to train the future workforce in a wide range of specialisms.

“This centre will also integrate STEM technology into all subjects, providing a different approach to teaching and training.”

Building work is due to begin in January 2020, and the building is set to open to students in January 2021.

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