North West

Furness College looks towards the future

Furness College, CumbriaArchitects Broadway Malyan and main contractors Eric Wright Group are working on an exciting £41 million project at Furness College, Cumbria. The campus is to be transformed by a phased refurbishment and new build scheme that will create world-class facilities including state-of-the-art learning suites, student social areas, hair and beauty salons and a new restaurant.

The project began in September 2010. The new build element of the project is scheduled for handover on the 19th December, followed by the completion of the refurbishment phase in September 2012 and final completion in summer 2013.

The £42 million project has been funded by Furness College, Skills Funding Agency and the University of Cumbria in conjunction with North West Development Agency.

The four-storey building is a Kingspan structure with copper and composite black thermastone cladding. It has been built to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard and includes sustainable features such as solar panels.

On the ground and first floors, vocational workshops including engineering, construction, motor vehicle and plumbing are show cased. The ground floor features a glass fronted hair and beauty salon with a spa, sauna and other facilities for the public.Furness College, Cumbria

On the first floor, there is a restaurant with a refectory which will overlook the Channel and Duddon Estuary. The second floor includes learning spaces, laboratories and classrooms. The third floor will contain the management suite and university centre used by the University of Cumbria and other partner universities. This will make Furness College the first dedicated centre for the delivery of university education in Barrow. The HE floor of the building will enable the university to deliver its own HE courses whilst also providing a gateway to further support any student engaging with HE in the area.

An interesting element of the design is the fact that the facilities are specifically work related, meaning that when the students enter the relevant industry, they will already have the skills, knowledge and understanding required in the work place.

Once the new build is complete, the Learning Resource Centre will be refurbished and an external artificial sports pitch will be created.  Additional landscaping will include the planting of trees and the installation of benches.

Dave Green, Furness College, said: “We are extremely pleased with the progress that is being made on this exciting project, and a robust relationship has been formed between Furness College, Eric Wright and Broadway Malyan.”

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