An £8.2m rebuild of a Lancashire college’s campus for sailing students has been given the royal seal of approval.

Princess Anne unveiled the 10-year redevelopment project at Blackpool and The Fylde College, which included the purchase of a £300,000 ship engine room simulator.

The Fleetwood Nautical Campus trains people for the merchant navy and offshore energy industries.

Unveiling a plaque, the Princess Royal said: “May I just say a big thank you for your investment in the maritime sector, which still has a very important part to play in our industry. This college has a very good track record in this area and I’m sure will continue to attract a lot of interest from around the world. It’s been a real pleasure to see it, thank you for your invitation.”

Pauline Waterhouse OBE, principal and chief executive, said: “We’re honoured that HRH The Princess Royal officially unveiled the new campus.

“She witnessed a helicopter underwater escape training exercise, which was completed by Prince William last year, and took time to talk to many students and staff as she toured the new facilities.”

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