ANDOVER is in line to benefit from a £2.6million boost to education – enabling Andover College to open a technology and skills centre.

The centre will allow the college to focus on engineering and other technologies, directly related to local employers, in a bid to help ease a local skills shortage.

The £2.6m cash injection will come through the M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

However, the project is conditional on the college securing cash and match funding equivalent to £3.8m.

Developing land owned by the college at Littlebridge for housing would secure this amount, but it is still uncertain whether this will be acceptable to planners.

College principal Tim Jackson said the opportunity the investment provides will be a boost to the college, provide local employers with the skilled staff they need, and support the continued growth in student numbers.

The college roll has doubled since 2007, and there are now 1,150 full-time students.