Work on the Sustainable Construction Skills Centre for the University College Birmingham is making excellent progress, with scaffolding due to be removed by contractors GMI in the coming weeks.
The Centre, located in the James Cond former printworks in the centre of Birmingham, will be home to the University’s specialist courses in modular methods of construction, retrofit and green technologies from September 2023.
The courses will support the region’s growth areas, including sustainable construction methods and renewable energy.
Michael Harkin, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of University College Birmingham, said of the site progress: “Having made such a headway with construction, we’re now looking forward to the completion of the site, ready for our first intake of students in September 2023.
“This crucial skills centre is part of our wider plans in developing our provision to meet regional skills demands and deliver future industry-ready graduates.”
GMI Construction Group PLC is a national award-winning UK contractor providing specialist design and build capabilities, spanning multiple sectors, including education.
Gareth Jones, Joint Managing Director for GMI Midlands, said: “This scheme is an exciting one for GMI’s portfolio in the Midlands. Not only is it located next to our George Street office, it fits with our commitment and values as a business as we build the centre that will house the next wave of young construction talent in our industry.
“We’re delighted to be working closely with University College Birmingham and hopefully it’s a partnership which will continue to flourish. We’re exactly where we want to be on this project and already are looking forward to a topping out ceremony in the summer.”
Located in the Jewellery Quarter, the regeneration of the James Cond former printworks will honour the area’s heritage and the historic art deco printworks facility that was originally built in the 1930s.
Rosa Wells, Executive Dean of the School of Engineering, Digital and Sustainable Construction said: “It is exciting to see the progress on the Sustainable Construction Skills Centre; the building is being sensitively restored to maintain many of the original features and architecture incorporating innovative retrofit ideas alongside heritage building techniques.
“This makes it a unique skills centre for our construction students to learn in – the fabric of the building will naturally create learning opportunities and reinforce the importance of embracing sustainable construction methods.”
The regeneration of the Sustainable Construction Skills Centre is part of a £160 million investment in University College Birmingham’s campuses and learning facilities, which includes Camden House and the award-winning McIntyre House and Moss House.
ABOUT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE BIRMINGHAM
University College Birmingham’s mission is to ensure its students can follow their passion, while learning the industry skills employers want from graduates that meet today’s skills agenda.
Enterprise and practical experience are a key focus across the University’s degree courses, covering the areas of health and nursing, education, sport and physiotherapy, business and tourism, computing and cyber security, engineering and sustainable construction, food, and creative services.
In the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, the University works with over 1,000 employers locally, nationally, and globally to ensure students have diverse industry experiences and complete their studies as a confident, career-ready graduate with specialist knowledge.
This focus is bolstered by the fact many of the degrees are awarded by the University of Warwick, ranked 6th in the UK by The Guardian League Table 2022. This is a developing partnership between two universities that aims to open progression pathways, with far-reaching benefits for learners.