The Advanced Engineering & Construction Centre will house newer, lighter, analytical equipment, BIM Software and robotics.
The centre will allow students to move through to the higher engineering and degree level training required in today’s manufacturing and civil engineering markets.
It will increase student numbers by an additional 300 full-time and part-time students and 150 higher level apprentices each year..
College chief executive and principal Ian Pryce said: “Successful FE colleges such as ours have stayed in the forefront of training because we work so closely with cutting edge employers.
"This Advanced Engineering & Construction Centre is what they want to help power the South East forward.”
The state-of-the-art training facilities will be built on the college’s campus in the heart of Bedford.
The announcement event was hosted by Hybrid Air Vehicles, which is manufacturing the Airlander – the world’s largest aircraft – at Cardington and was sponsored by Ashe Construction, Chameleon Event Management and BlueGreen Design.
Holding it in one of the iconic airship sheds demonstrated the significance of the investment in engineering, not just for Bedford but for the entire South East region, said a college spokesman.
Bedford College has won funding for the Centre through the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership. The college already works with international names such as Cranfield University and, with the University of Northampton, provides a BSc in Engineering.
In partnership with General Motors, Bedford College is also running Mechatronics Apprenticeships, the only one in the region which meets the new government ‘standards’ for apprenticeships to match modern industry demands.