Work has started on the construction of a new college in Westminster which will allow pupils to learn directly from industry giants.

The Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College (UTC) is being built on Ebury Bridge, near to Victoria station, and will open to high achieving 14-18-year-olds from September next year.

Pupils who attend will learn skills essential in the transport, engineering and construction industries.

The college is named after Sir Simon, the former leader of Westminster City Council and deputy London Mayor, who died from illness aged 49 in 2011.

Among those present at the ground-breaking ceremony, which sees the turning over of the first shovel of earth on the construction site, was Cllr Robert Davis MBE, his long-term partner. The pair entered a civil partnership in 2006.

Westminster City Council says 130,000 new jobs in London in the next 20 years will require engineers, technicians and project managers, with the aptitude to think independently, use newer technologies and work in multidisciplinary teams.

Cllr Davis MBE said: “Work beginning on this life changing new educational establishment in the heart of Westminster is a very proud moment for everyone who has been involved in getting it off the ground.

Seen here at the ground-braking ceremony of the new Simon Milton UTC are: Evelyne Rugg, chairman and trustee of the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC Trust; Professor Geoff Petts, vice-chancellor and president, University of Westminster; the former Lord Mayor of Westminster; Cllr The Lady Flight,who is a Trustee of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation; Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL, a Trustee of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation and former partner of Sir Simon Milton; Karen Barker, principal designate of the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC; and Bill Templeton, the apprentice development manager at Network Rail

“The ethos behind it comes from Sir Simon’s own pioneering ‘One City’ vision to provide young people with the opportunities to help them make the best of their lives and talents and to realise their true potential and be successful in life.

“We very much look forward to welcoming the first pupils when the doors open next year.”

The UTC promises to offer uniquely integrated excellent academic, technical and practical learning in a state-of-the-art environment where students can work directly with businesses such as Network Rail, Transport for London, Crossrail , Alstom, BT Fleet, Land Securities and Sir Robert McAlpine.

Applications to the UTC open in September this year. If you are a student or parent or carer and you want to find out more about the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC contact Dee Burn at or on 020 3506 9277.