Energy Skills Centre reaches building stage

The project to build a new Energy and Engineering Skills Centre of Excellence on East Coast College’s Lowestoft campus is entering its next phase, following the appointment of Morgan Sindall as main contractor after the final contract sum was agreed by the College Corporation.

Construction work on the new building is expected to start in October, with a target completion date of autumn 2019 in time for the next large intake of apprentices in the energy, maritime and engineering sectors.

The £11.3m project, supported with £10m from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund, will provide a regional centre of excellence with national and international specialisms that will support the development of higher level technical skills and professional expertise in the energy, engineering, marine and offshore industries.  The Energy sector is a key priority for the region’s growth, and the College will play a significant part in providing appropriately trained and qualified employees to support this agenda.

Stuart Rimmer, Chief Executive and Principal of East Coast College said: “Over the last few months the design and construction team have been working hard to finalise the design of the Energy and Engineering Skills Centre, both internally and externally.  The focus of the scheme is to support the region’s skills demands in the Energy, Maritime and Engineering sectors.  The new facility will have enhanced functionality, delivering cutting-edge training and state-of-the-art equipment for the whole community to access.  I am delighted that we are now ready to start building on site.”

Doug Field, chair of New Anglia LEP, said: “I’m delighted to see this project move on to the next stage. Our all-energy coastline has a vital role to play in delivering the clean growth the UK needs. But we can’t do that without a highly skilled workforce. This centre will provide those skills, allowing this fast-evolving sector to continue to grow and add value to our economy.”

Saul Humphrey, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure’s managing director in the East, said: “We’re very pleased to be working with East Coast College to deliver this exciting expansion to the Lowestoft campus.

“Attracting new talent and engaging with the next generation is crucial to ensure that the East of England can remain at the forefront of the UK’s energy and engineering industries. This new centre will create an inspiring environment to train students in first-class surroundings, enabling each student to reach their full potential.

“The UK’s energy and engineering industries are currently facing skills shortages of unprecedented levels. By strengthening the foundations of skills and training in the industry through initiatives such as this centre, the East of England can continue to develop a rich pipeline of young professionals with the skills and knowledge to continue to drive the region’s skills agenda forward.”

The Energy and Engineering Skills Centre is part of East Coast College’s wider development of training facilities for the Energy and Engineering Sector.  The College recently launched its Offshore Wind Centre, a Skills Deal project also supported by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, at its Great Yarmouth campus. The new Centre of Excellence at Lowestoft Campus is expected to welcome its first cohorts in October 2019.

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