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MP Trudy Harrison officially opens £3m Civil Engineering Training Centre

News item details

  • News date: Oct '21
  • News author: Jenny Barwise
  • Latest news


A MULTI-MILLION pound Civil Engineering Training Centre has officially opened at Lakes College.

Guests including local employers, dignitaries and education and training leaders gathered as Copeland MP Trudy Harrison cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the £3m centre.

This was followed by a tour of the facility, then brunch served by Lakes College catering students.

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison said: “It is my pleasure to formally open the Civil Engineering Training Centre at Lakes College today.

“This is a world-class facility to train people for careers in civil engineering and construction, and we are proud to have it right on our doorstep.

“The centre will allow us to keep more talent in West Cumbria by giving them the specialist high-quality training and education they need, and also to attract people into the area to further their education and careers.

“I congratulate Lakes College and partners for their vision and determination in bringing this significant project to fruition, and I know it will be an asset to our area for decades to come.”

Lakes College principal Chris Nattress said: “We are thrilled to be opening our Civil Engineering Training Centre today. This represents the benefit of several years of development work with key parties and funders, leading to a fantastic, high quality civils training facility here at Lakes College.

“From today we can work with employers, employees, residents and communities across Cumbria to train in civil engineering from entry right up to degree level. This will directly support well paid, productive careers in civils for Cumbrian residents and have a really positive impact on skills, employment, prosperity and opportunity in our wonderful area.”

The Department for Education awarded £1.6 million for the project, along with £900,000 from Cumbria LEP’s Growth Deal fund, and £550,000 of college funds.

Cumbria LEP (CLEP) Chief Executive Jo Lappin said: “Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership was delighted to provide £900,000 of Growth Deal funding to support this important project.

“CLEP’s investment has helped to create this new facility, which will provide much-needed skills for our construction sector. It is an excellent facility and a great addition to Lakes College’s existing offer, helping to create Cumbria’s current and future workforce.

“This is another investment from CLEP’s Growth Deal programme, which has been ongoing since 2015 and has provided support to Cumbria’s economy, businesses and our education sector.”

The training centre, based on a 10-acre site on the Lillyhall college’s campus, will offer a comprehensive, broad and deep range of training, education and skills in heavy construction, including apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships.

There is an indoor practical area with teaching spaces and outdoor areas for civils training and for heavy machinery and plant operations. It will provide training for a variety of trades, including scaffolders, steel fixers and plant operatives.

Building of the facility has been carried out by Story Contracting, who offered work experience placements to Lakes College students during the build.
Story Contracting Managing Director Emma Porter said: “As a local civils contractor we were delighted to be involved in the delivery of a new civils training facility in Cumbria.”

Jamie Reed, head of corporate affairs, strategy and technical directorate at Sellafield Ltd, said: “I’d like to credit the work that Chris (Nattress) and his team at Lakes College have done over the years. They’ve done so much life-changing work, not just in West Cumbria, but all over Cumbria.”

Some of the courses which will be delivered in the new centre are: T Level in Design, Surveying and Planning; Construction and the Built Environment Apprenticeships; Site Safety for Supervisors and Cable Detection.

Michael Priestley, chair of Governors at Lakes College, said: “Today has been a real celebration and I’m extremely pleased to see so many people gathered at the opening.

“I’d like to thank all those who helped make this dream a reality, we’re really looking forward to the future of the centre and continuing to work with all our stakeholders to help the Cumbrian community develop skills and grow.”