THE VISION for a £3.4m, state-of-the-art Barrow training hub has been unveiled.
Furness College has revealed its plans for the Advanced Manufacturing Centre which is to be built on the college site in Barrow.
Pending planning permission from Barrow Borough Council, it will be built on vacant land in between the existing college buildings and the all-weather sports pitches. If approved, work could start on the project in June this year and be completed by March 2016.
The 1,500sqm centre will be a base for engineering and advanced manufacturing research, as well as rapid prototyping and emerging technologies. It will allow the college to meet the increasing skills needs of major local employers and recruit more apprentices into that rapidly developing sector.
The £3.38m centre will focus on science, technology, engineering and maths-related subjects, with a key emphasis on engineering skills. It will support the estimated £1bn-worth of investment to be made in advanced manufacturing by companies in the Furness area over the next five years.
That includes investment in infrastructure, buildings and processes for BAE Systems, plus local supply chain networks.
David Green, Furness College director of corporate and commercial facilities, said: “The new centre will provide an inspiring, rewarding and inclusive environment for all learners.
“Employers recognise the need for investment in training and skills and have given this project their full support. The new Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Centre will meet the demand for specialist technically trained staff.”
The centre is being part-funded by a government £1.2m Local Growth Fund grant which was secured last year by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership. The overall funding agreements for the project are being finalised. The deal includes support from the Higher Education Funding Council’s Catalyst Fund and the college’s own resources.
Lancaster-based Harrison Pitt Architects has been appointed to design the state-of-the art centre, with Kendal based Bushell Raven Ltd as project management lead consultants.
Subscribe to our newsletter: get a glimpse of what it's really like to live and work in Cumbria.