Lowestoft College’s NewSir Christopher Cockerell Centre
The Centre with its workshops for Boatbuilding, Construction Industry and Engineering Courses was officially opened on Wed 25th April 2007 by Sir Christopher Cockerell’s daughter Frances and Lord Somerleyton (pic left) whose father alerted Lord Louis Mountbatten to the Hovercraft invention in 1957 and allowed trials and demonstrations on the Pergola Lawn in the wonderful gardens of Somerleyton Hall.
Principal Gwen Parsons (top left seated) welcomed over one hundred and thirty invited guests and reflected on Lowestoft College’s long history while outlining current plans to completely redevelop the campus within a scheme likely to run to £40 million. The first phase is the new £6.5 million Boatbuilding, Construction Industry and Engineering Building. See Press Release 3
It is named The Sir Christopher Cockerell Centre in recognition of his achievements as an engineer and boat designer, who in the immediate post-war years invented the Hovercraft at Somerleyton, just a few miles from Lowestoft College. Sir Christopher’s connection is further enhanced by his pioneering work in the field of renewable energy as the Orbis Centre for Renewable Energy is being developed at Ness Point and the College is itself a Centre of Vocational Excellence in Energy. The picture top left shows Frances Cockerell touching the inscription of her father’s name after unveiling the stone tablet and declaring the Sir Christopher Cockerell Centre (pic top right) formally open.
The building was designed by Architect Simon Smeaton of OWL Architects of Ipswich & Lowestoft www.owlarchitects.co.uk who provided the picture top right. Other pictures were taken for Lowestoft College by Jacqueline Wyatt.