Immersive Design Lab opens at Cheshire College bringing connected visualisation into every classroom

Learners at Cheshire College – South & West are set to unlock their digital superpowers as part of a new partnership, backed by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, with industrial visualisation pioneers Virtalis.

Last month Virtalis launched an Immersive Design Lab at the College containing advanced virtual and augmented reality equipment such as the high-tech zSpace AIO Pro and Oculus Rift S with VR ready PCs – all of which is powered by their virtual reality software, Visionary Render. 

Supported by funding from the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnerships Local Growth Fund, the partnership was formed as part of a £5 million programme of investment that has prioritised Cheshire College – South & West as one of the further education providers in the region best placed to deliver digital and STEM-related training and education.

(L-R) Principal & CEO of Cheshire College – South & West Dhesi, Account Executive at Virtalis Ruari MacLeod and Assistant Principal – Curriculum Mark Parsons

Mark Parsons, Assistant Principal – Curriculum, said: “Virtual and augmented reality is touching on our everyday work, education and social lives. It is already beginning to revolutionize a number of industries from healthcare and retail to engineering and this method of teaching and learning will become increasingly effective as new technologies emerge. I am extremely excited to see our learners continuously benefit from the partnership we have developed with Virtalis.”

The new equipment from Virtalis will be utilised by various departments across the College’s three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, benefitting a wide range of learners including those studying Engineering, Construction and the Built Environment, Hospitality and Catering, Visual Arts, Media and Games and Health and Social Care.



CEO at Virtalis Robert Boers, added: “To meet increased demands to deliver complex products at the speed of light; enterprises are shifting from silo-based engineering to VR enabled engineering ecosystems. In this new world, organisations across the product lifecycle work together in concert, requiring experts with the right VR competencies and mindset. 

“We are proud to team up with Cheshire College, an innovative and leading institute with a strong reputation. It’s great to know both students and enterprises will benefit from this partnership driving Industry 4.0 and immersive engineering.” 

Clare Hayward, MBE, Chair of the Cheshire Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said; “We are thrilled to support the creation of this exciting partnership between the College and Virtalis, which I am sure will help to develop students’ skills and develop our region’s talent base.

“Harnessing the power of the digital economy and creating a workforce with the skills employers need is one of our highest priorities at the LEP and we look forward to seeing this initiative flourish. The Design Lab and the new Digital Hub at the College are part of a £5m programme of investment we are making in digital skills, which will reach more than 50,000 students and over 3,000 businesses.”

If you would like to know more about studying at Cheshire College – South & West visit ccsw.ac.uk.