A high-tech cyber lab has been officially opened at Longsands Academy in St Neots, thanks to a collaboration with a specialist technology firm.

The school, part of Astrea Academy Trust, worked closely with MASS, based near St Neots, on the installation of the school’s first ever cyber lab.

The cyber lab will now facilitate and enhance computer science and cyber study for A-Level and BTEC students and will enable the study of a new T Level.

Up to 25 students can use the lab at any one time to learn about and explore further aspects of computing and cyber.

MASS, a technology company which has worked with defence, Government and business clients in the UK and around the world, has not only contributed equipment, furniture and resources for the refurbishment but has also donated considerable staff time and expertise to help implement and set up the new cyber lab.

St Neots mayor Cllr Rob Simonis and deputy mayor Cllr Richard Slade, who are both Longsands governors, also celebrated the cyber lab’s opening on September 21.

Claire Chilton, head of computer science at Longsands, said: “We are delighted with the lab, and we are truly grateful for the investment, equipment and time MASS have afforded the academy.

“This space will widen the students’ experience, knowledge and skills in a way that we have been unable to offer previously.

“This is such an exciting time for our students, and us, and we are looking forward to seeing their potential grow with the opportunities the lab will provide."  

MASS CIO Jack Stark said: “This project comes as part of our commitment to invest in the younger generation, helping their development into future cyber and tech careers.

“We are privileged to work alongside Longsands in championing the development of students. It’s an opportunity for us to give back to the community and the industry. 

"Making technology careers accessible to all students is important to produce inspired, diverse and industry-aware candidates for future careers."