City College Norwich has won a £10,000 upgrade for its plumbing and heating training facilities, courtesy of Graham Plumber’s Merchant’s College Refresh Awards.

After many applications from colleges around the country, three finalists were chosen to attend the awards ceremony at Worcester Bosch’s headquarters. City College Norwich was ultimately victorious, with New College – Hackney Campus and Hull College as runners up.

The one-day event included a factory tour and a boiler CPD session, with lecturers from the colleges also pitted against each other in a competition to see who could strip a boiler within the quickest time. Finally, City College Norwich was announced as the winner due to its passionate and thorough submission, which laid out a clear and precise plan for their students.

Katy Dorman, Apprenticeship Delivery Manager at City College Norwich, said: “The hospitality from Worcester Bosch Group and Graham Plumbers’ Merchant, as well as the chance to network with industry leaders and representatives from heating and plumbing departments in other colleges, has been second to none.

“The £10,000 reward will present significant funding for our department, and means we can move forward with our gas engineer focus programme in October. Our students will be thrilled with the new workshop, tools and training we can now offer.”

Ian Kenny, Marketing Director at Graham Plumbers’ Merchant said, “We are keen to cultivate a level of intimacy and interest in our customers and local community. We have over 180 branches across the country and it’s important to have relationships with local colleges. Students have shown a hunger for training and development, and in times where funding is getting thinner it is up to industry leaders, such as ourselves, to support students and apprentices in college in whatever way we can.

“This was the first Graham College Refresh Awards, and we hope it will be the first of many as we continue to support the local community and future industry professionals.”

“As someone who began as an apprentice myself, passionate lecturers are everything,” said Steve Lister, Sales and Marketing Director at Worcester Bosch. “By supporting and investing in students and apprentices from the beginning, manufacturers can ensure they are ahead in the market and students can graduate with confidence in their skills and the future of the industry.”