THE Mayor got a glimpse of the learning environment Warrington students will be set to experience during a visit to Bolton's University Technical College (UTC).

After accepting an invite to attend the facility, Cllr Geoff Settle (LAB – Poulton North) was given a guided tour of the campus last month.

It comes ahead of UTC Warrington's opening, which will specialise in energy and engineering for students aged 14 to 19, in September as part of the new Stadium Quarter development in the town centre.

Cllr Settle said he was extremely impressed by the facilities, laboratories, sponsorship involvement and enthusiasm of the college students.

He added: "Having spent a number of years working in Bolton, using my many years of software engineering, I wanted to see the changes that had taken place in and around the new university campus.

"This is definitely several levels above the technical colleges that I went to but that was back in the last century.

"When these facilities are opened in Warrington the new UTC will enhance the options available to our students.

"Forty years ago I attended night school at Bolton to learn Fortran programming.

"We even used punch cards that were compiled in a massive computer and printouts of massive sheets that you had to pour over to highlight your mistakes.

"Getting something right could take weeks – not like today with apps and instant results."

Cllr Settle also admitted he would have enjoyed having similar facilities during his time in education.

He added: "If only I'd had these new facilities, technical labs for dentistry, robotics, pharmacy, and electronics – they are fantastic.

"Having only 12 teeth left in my mouth I was able to work on a dummy in the dentistry lab to see how my dentures were made.

"I've yet to bump into Peter Kay but the amazing thing is that the UTC principal, David Goddard, lives in Chapelford – he showed me around the place and let me see lessons in action.

"He also told me that Warrington's new UTC principal had been at the college only the week before and is therefore very aware of what can be achieved.

"I'm sure that they will keep in touch and exchange best practice."