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Nescot (North East Surrey College of Technology) marked seven decades since its official opening with a commemorative tree planting in the college grounds today (22.03.24). The Mayor Epsom & Ewell, Councillor Rob Geleit planted a silver birch along with Julie Kapsalis, Principal and CEO of Nescot and Chris Muller, Chair of Nescot Corporation. They were joined by three students, Donna from our Supported Internship programme, Kirsty from Access to Nursing and Anna from Catering, selected for outstanding achievements in their courses this term.

Speaking at the tree planting, Julie Kapsalis, said: “Looking back at the programme from the official opening on 22nd March 1954, the Worshipful Mayor of Epsom & Ewell, Alderman Usill played a key part so it is particularly appreciated to have the current Mayor, Cllr Rob Geleit with us today – recognising the strength of relationship between the council, local community and this college. It is also wonderful to have students take part in this historic moment as without them and the many thousands who walked through these gates before them, we would not be here.

“As we reflect on 70 years of Nescot today, by planting this beautiful silver birch tree we are also looking to the future of education here, which we hope will be sustainable, ever-growing and long-lived. Maybe in 70 years’ time – 2094 - people here will be looking back on photos from today, admiring this tree in its full maturity, and be reflecting on education and what Nescot means to them.”

Marking the commemorative event with the tree planting, the Mayor of Epsom & Ewell, Cllr Rob Geleit, said: “It is an honour to be here today to plant this commemorative tree to mark Nescot’s 70th anniversary. I hope in 70 years’ time someone similar will be doing the same thing.”

Julie added, “When this site was formally opened in 1954, the world was very different and courses such as Home Economics, Flower Arrangement, Guest House Management and Typing were on the curriculum, along with a number of more scientific and technical subjects. Today, our curriculum includes learning opportunities in electric vehicles, artificial intelligence, robotics, gaming, sectors which could barely have been imagined in 1954.

“We can be proud of the role that Nescot plays, offering increased opportunities for people from all walks of life to gain the skills and qualifications they need for a successful career and continuing to provide learning for the local community in Epsom & Ewell and our surrounding region.”

Students and staff took part in a variety of events throughout the day and during the week organised by various curriculum areas that included activities, displays and even a 1950s lesson for some of our plumbing apprentices to mark Nescot’s 70 years.

Nescot began life as Ewell County Technical College, with the first students beginning courses in September 1953 and the establishment being formally opened the following March. Explore the college’s rich history, evolution of education and community engagement on our website here.