Councillors and MSP visits campus

Councillors Ian Massie and John Rebbeck were joined today by Jim Fairlie MSP for a visit to Perth College UHI.

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Gareth McKenna, Perth College UHI Head of Business Development; Jim Fairlie, MSP; Ian Massie, Councillor; and John Rebbeck, Councillor.

They toured the campus, learning about initiatives and new investments within various departments, all aimed at giving students the best possible learning and support experience.

Met by Veronica Lynch, Vice Principal - External, they started their tour in the Brahan building. In the Hospitality department, they discussed the Andrew Fairlie scholarship, set up in memory of Jim’s late brother and hosted by the college in 2021.

Veronica said: “We take great pride in offering our students the best possible experience while learning with us. We were pleased to be able to showcase the investments we have made to our facilities and support services on-campus, to benefit our student community.”

Next, they visited the welding workshop and the recent £140k-worth of investment which means the students benefit from industry-relevant equipment and welding processes and methods - the most up-to-date equipment in the sector.

The location of the Community Wellness Garden was pointed out, along with the two new apple trees, recently planted as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative. Councillor Massie said: “With the concerns over young people’s mental health and the impact of Covid, I’m sure that upon completion, this space will provide another attractive opportunity within the college environment to help improve health and wellbeing among students - and the wider community. I look forward to seeing how the fundraising for this worthwhile project progresses.”

The guests visited the Webster building, complete with a new Starbucks Cafe, catering for the students as part of the Union-Link building where HISA Perth - the Highland and Islands Students Association is based. Based in this building, they learned of the upcoming Open Days on campus on Wednesday 23 February and Saturday 26 March.

They then went to Goodlyburn to learn where the Creative Industries, Music and Music Business, Audio Engineering and Theatre Arts are located. They discussed the collaboration to create a Covid memorial project designed to honour all those affected by Covid, led by Councillor Massie and Christiana Margiotti, Perth College UHI Sector Development Director.

Christiana explained: “We are excited to bring together our creative students and communities to co-create a memorial, under the banner of ‘Remembering Together’ supported by greenspace Scotland. This project is part of a collective effort across Scotland and it’s a privilege for our students to get involved in such a significant initiative, with a lasting national impact.”

The group completed their visit in the College’s Academy of Sport and Wellbeing (ASW), where they saw the hair and beauty salons busy with students. They also met Gareth McKenna, Perth College UHI Head of Business Development who explained the ASW opened in 2016 and offers hair, beauty and wellbeing, sport and academic facilities for students, staff and wider community groups, along with strong links with national organisations and hosting international events.

Jim Fairlie MSP exclaimed: “It was a real pleasure to visit Perth College UHI and to see first-hand the range and diversity of facilities that are available for students and the local community. I was really amazed by the sheer range of facilities that support the course options from hospitality, music engineering, performing arts, to beauty therapy. I am very much looking forward to working closely with Perth College UHI going forward and I really welcome the range of community projects they are taking forward, such as the Covid memorial project, which is being supported with funding from the Scottish Government."

Councillor John Rebbeck said: “I very much appreciate the warm welcome received from Perth College UHI. Tertiary Education in Scotland is amongst the best in the world and Perth College UHI is no exception, and its importance in the ward, and throughout Perth and Kinross can’t be underestimated.”