A NEW £500,000 dental training centre for students across West Yorkshire is being officially opened in Bradford this week.

The Northern Dental Education Centre - NORDEC - will be opened at Bradford College by Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, at a ceremony on Friday.

The new centre will be used to train the next generation of apprentice dental nurses, and will also offer continuing professional development training to staff throughout the dental industry.

This training will include topics such as oral cancer awareness, dental impression taking, and fluoride application.

It will be open to practitioners and students from across the county, based at the hub in Bradford College’s £10 million Advanced Technology Centre, which opened two years ago.

The £500,000 centre is a joint enterprise between Bradford College and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and features state-of-the-art training equipment..

Facilities include a classroom set up like a dentist’s surgery, and one will be filled with ‘phantom heads’, mannequins with realistic mouths, to be used for practising treatment.

There is also a decontamination suite and classroom space for lectures, conferences and workshops. Ms Cummins will be joined by leading figures from the LEP, Bradford College, and the dental industry for the opening which will take place on Friday morning, followed by a tour of the new facilities.

Andy Welsh, chief executive of Bradford College, said: “NORDEC is dedicated to the task of training healthcare professionals, driving clinical standards and improving clinical leadership through opportunities for continuous personal and professional development.”

Gail Holmes, vocational sciences manager at the college, added: “We have an excellent track record of running apprenticeships in dental nursing and we are excited to be expanding and growing our involvement and expertise in the industry.”

The NORDEC was half-funded by Bradford College, with the additional funding coming from the LEP Growth Deal, a £1 billion package of Government funding which aims to accelerate growth and create jobs in the Leeds City Region.

Roger Marsh, chairman of the LEP and Combined Authority board member, said: “By investing £79m in college facilities like NORDEC, we are focusing on creating continued economic growth that boosts jobs, skills and wages in the long term.”