Newton Abbot College students thanked for helping at new centre preview event

Posted on: 6 July 2012

Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Roger Croad, has extended his thanks to students of Newton Abbot College who helped showcase the council’s new Passmore Edwards Centre at a special community preview event last week. (Saturday 23 June)

The council invited residents to have a first look around the newly revamped landmark building before it opened for business on Monday 25 June.

With guidance from the centre staff, 30 students welcomed residents and helped answer any questions about the new facilities.

They also kindly volunteered to guide people around the new centre, giving tours of the modern 21st century library, railway themed children’s library and special reading garden as well as the IT suite, which has WiFi technology, the new café run by local business ‘The Country Table’ and the first floor which houses the Railway Studies Collection (the second largest collection of railway studies materials outside York’s National Railway Museum), meeting rooms available for local groups to use and the adult and community learning facilities.

Max at Passmore EdwardsResidents also met M@x, the Devon library mascot. The character costume, who was played by some of the college students, kept the centre’s youngest new visitors entertained for the afternoon.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Communities, said:

“The community preview event on Saturday was a great success, with over 600 people coming along to have a first look at the amazing transformation that has taken place. Since then we have welcomed many more who have been eager to discover what is on offer and make full use of the new facilities.

“I am really pleased that students from Newton Abbot College volunteered to help us show off the new facilities at the preview event. They were a great help, and did their school proud.

“We have been keen to involve the local community throughout this redevelopment project, including children and young people, who have been instrumental in influencing the interior design of the building and even helped choose new books to fill the shelves. I’m sure the students will find the centre to be a valuable resource throughout their studies and beyond, and I hope they make full use of these excellent facilities for many years to come.”

Jo Slade, Newton Abbot College’s Librarian, accompanied the students. She said:

“The students were complimented by many people on how smart they looked and the way they conducted themselves. They confidently assisted customers with the new self-service machines and were able to answer questions posed of them when giving conducted tours. It was an honour for them to be involved with the opening events.”

The College’s support of the new Passmore Edwards Centre continues this month as they prepare a drama production of ‘Pyramus & Thisbe’ from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to be performed at the Centre on Wednesday 11 July at 3.45pm. Tickets are free, and are available from the Passmore Edwards Centre.

Colin Spencer, Newton Abbot College’s Head of Music, is also rehearsing an eight piece ensemble that will play in front of VIPs at the Passmore Edwards Centre’s official opening event on 18 July.

 For more information about the performances please contact Newton Abbot College on 01626 367335 or To find out about other events at Devon County Council’s Passmore Edwards Centre contact 01392 384012 or email

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