THE new £500,000 dental training centre based at Bradford College was officially opening this morning by Bradford South MP Judith Cummins.

Ms Cummins cut the ribbon to officially open the centre, which was described as "unique to the north of England".

The Northern Dental Education Centre - NORDEC - will provide training courses and apprenticeships for aspiring dental nurses, and in-work training for people already working in the sector.

Based at Bradford College's Advanced Technology Centre, the facility has state-of-the-art equipment including a dental surgery, decontamination room, tutoring rooms, and a room full of 'phantom heads' where students can practice working on people's mouths.

Opening the centre, Judith Cummins said: "I am delighted and proud, this centre puts Bradford at the heart of cutting-edge technology in dentistry.

"The centre will put Bradford on the map nationally as a centre of excellence for dentistry, and the people of Bradford will feel the benefit of the centre and this initiative.

"It is a truly wonderful facility that is the result of hard work between Bradford College, Bradford Council and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

"In Bradford a third of children have not seen a dentist for two years, and 190 of our children have been admitted to hospital for tooth extraction in the past eight months.Training here will upskill dental workers and improve dental care and health in our district."

Roger Marsh, chairman of the LEP, added: "There is truly nothing like this anywhere else in the north of England, it is unique.

"This facility and its future effects will help our young people achieve their full potential, with facilities appropriate for the 21st Century."