Beard Construction has been named as the chosen contractor by Gloucestershire College for its £5 million sustainable construction centre in Cheltenham. The project, which is set to begin this month, will see the construction of the 14,000 square-foot facility and will feature 10 plumbing bays, 12 electrical bays and 20 bays for carpentry, as well as four classrooms.
With sustainability at its core, the training provision will be based on nationally set pathways and will embrace low-carbon energy and associated skills. In total, the construction centre will provide hands-on experience, expert training and key green skills to 164 learners every week.
The new construction training centre forms part of the college’s vision to prepare the workforce of the future. It aims to help address the increasing demand for skilled construction workers in the region, which is projected to reach 6,400 annually by 2025. The facility also coincides with the shift towards net-zero carbon technologies in construction.
Beard is working closely with the college and all partners to keep both staff and students safe and to minimise disruption. The project is being delivered through Beard’s Swindon office, with the contractor working alongside architects Roberts Limbrick, project managers Ridge and Partners LLP, quantity surveyors Ward Williams Associates and structural engineers Simpson Associates.
Jamie Harwood, director at Beard, said: “Gloucestershire College has an exciting vision to not only increase routes into the industry, but to ensure new recruits are skilled to meet the challenges and opportunities of sustainability. These principles are key drivers for us at Beard and we are delighted to be working with the college as its chosen contractor.
“For more than 130 years, Beard has built an established reputation in the education sector, whether it’s in primary, secondary, SEND provision or further education. We will utilise this expertise to help Gloucestershire College deliver a cutting-edge teaching and learning space for construction.”
Matthew Burgess, principal at Gloucestershire College, added: “Our selection of Beard Construction is rooted in its exceptional reputation and demonstrated commitment to sustainable and high-quality builds. We sought a partner who shares our vision of preparing the talent of tomorrow for the evolving construction landscape. Beard’s proven expertise, coupled with its focus on minimising disruption and maximising collaboration, aligns with our objectives and we look forward to working with them over the coming year.”
Across its offices in Swindon, Bristol, Oxford and Guildford, Beard has completed a number of projects within the education sector. In addition to extensive work in further education – including for Oxford University and its colleges, Beard has completed projects in primary, secondary and special education.
The training centre marks a return to Cheltenham for Beard following the successful completion of The Quadrangle, a £12 million office refurbishment and extension project in the town centre.
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