Uxbridge College was declared 'exceptional' by the FE funding body's London Director when it officially opened its £4.8m state-of-the-art extension.

David Hughes, Regional Director for London for the Learning and Skills Council, praised College success rates and management at the official opening on 24 November.

Guests from all over west London and beyond celebrated the opening of the development for use by thousands of people.

The Mall and Teaching Centre has been created for use by business clients and the 10,000 students on full and part-time courses.

The building is part of £38m of investment in the College over the last 12 years, and includes teaching and conference rooms with Smartboards. It also features an Internet zone and café area, and student support facilities.

Mr Hughes, whose organisation provided financial support for the project, said: "It is a wonderful building and a fantastic resource for the community."

"It was obvious as soon as I walked through the door of the College that this is a well-run organisation.  All the indicators confirmed that gut reaction.  The student achievement rates are exceptional and they are a fantastic tribute to the staff, governors and students.  And not many colleges in London have managed to do the capital investment this College has done."

The audience of around 80 people included the Mayor of Hillingdon Councillor David Routledge, members of Hillingdon Council, staff from other further education colleges, and business leaders from the borough.

* Uxbridge College is one of the top-performing further education colleges in London in terms of student success rates. (LSC Benchmarking 2004/05).

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