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New Construction Skills Centre nears completion

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Lakes College Skills Centre

Construction work on the £7 million Britain’s Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre project is currently running ahead of schedule.

The new centre is a crucial investment in the future of young people in West Cumbria and will provide vital skills for the nuclear industry. The project is being funded by Britain’s Energy Coast in partnership with Nuclear Management Partners, Britain’s Energy Coast Campus and Lakes College.

The Construction Skills Centre is being developed on the site of Lakes College Lillyhall and will provide state-of-the-art teaching spaces and workshops for up to 600 students. Once the site is fully operational, students will be able to learn electrical installations; plumbing; carpentry and joinery; brickwork; painting and decorating; and various other trades, whilst courses focusing on renewable energy technologies will also be available.

Esh Construction is the main contractor on the project, whilst Day Cummins is providing architectural services and Cumbria County Council is the project manager. Once work is complete Lakes College will operate the facility.

Commenting on the project, Councillor Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Economic Development, said:

“It is great news that the project is running ahead of plan and will soon be delivering some of the best training available in the country to young people looking to forge a career in construction. All of the partners involved in the project have been working closely together to ensure that the finished facility will be one which West Cumbria can be very proud of.”

Lakes College Skills Centre Head of Projects for Energy & Business Support at Britain’s Energy Coast, David Jones, added:

“The Britain’s Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre is a flagship development for West Cumbria – a symbol of our commitment to help ensure young people in the area are equipped with the necessary skills to seize opportunities to work on the wide range of construction projects. The good progress made demonstrates the professionalism and dedication of all of the partners involved in making the centre happen.”

Primary construction on the project has already reached completion, along with core utilities including gas, electricity, heating water and drainage. Work is currently taking place on the second fit stages, where internal fittings, including plastering, finishing joinery, electrical fittings and decorations will be completed.

A phased transition will see individual subject areas transferred into the new building in stages before the building is fully operational in September, coinciding with the new academic year.

Cath Richardson, Principal of Lakes College West Cumbria, said:

“This is a very exciting project for the college to be involved in. We are incredibly proud of the scope and quality of services we offer to the local community, and believe that developing strong strategic partnerships enhances opportunities for all types of students. This is one such partnership that offers tangible benefits to the students of 2013 and beyond. The centre will allow us to train 20% more students in specialist construction skills, developing renewable technology skills alongside more traditional construction techniques. This is a fantastic addition that will help to position Cumbria as the centre of learning and development, turning out world class graduates that will be sought after by employers.”

Cumbria County Council’s Chairman, Councillor Norman Clarkson, added:

“This construction project is all about building a bright future for young people in West Cumbria. We are all working together and we are all working hard to deliver this new building.”

Britain’s Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre at Lakes College will reach completion in March 2013.

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