Published date 29 September 2021

City of Bristol College opens Advanced Construction Skills Centre to inaugural cohort

Dan Norris with a young construction worker

City of Bristol College celebrated the grand opening of its new £9m, purpose-built Advanced Construction Skills Centre with its leading employer, education and civic partners.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris, Bristol South MP Karin Smyth, UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor Steve West and Vistry Partnerships’ Managing Director Marc Thompson joined City of Bristol College’s Chief Executive and Principal Richard Harris for the official ribbon cutting on the new Centre, which opened to the first cohort of students in September.

The £9million project, which has been part-funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority,, is the latest addition to the new development plan for the area – with new houses and facilities planned for the neighbouring Hengrove Park.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “I’m so pleased that this fantastic new learning centre has been created in south Bristol, made possible with £6 million funding through the West of England Combined Authority which I’m proud to lead. A construction skills centre serving this part of the West of England has for too long been on a wish-list, and I’m delighted this cash injection has at last made it a reality.

“Serving communities across south Bristol and beyond it will help construction course students learn the skills they need to – literally – build a better future. And as we all work together to meet our ambitious net zero target it’s really good that eco-friendly construction practices and learning about sustainability form key parts of the courses on offer.

“Opening the Centre was an honour, enabling students to use its brilliant facilities and equipment, and ensuring they can get hands-on experience in their chosen profession.”

The state-of-the-art Centre is home to an array of construction courses and motor vehicle studies, with traditional construction pathways such as plastering, brickwork, carpentry and professional construction.

Principal and Chief Executive Rich Harris said: “This is a £9m, purpose-built facility where we will be able to teach and provide people with the skills they need to be part of a valuable and important sector in construction and teach them the sustainable and modern methods of construction.

“It is going to give the people of Bristol, south Bristol and the region the facilities and skills they need to become valued members of the construction industry over the next five to 25 years.”

Work begun on the new Centre in 2020 under the head contractor, Midas Construction Ltd, and was officially handed over to the College in May. The College then commenced with the ‘fit out’ and it was completed on-time and on-budget.

The opening of the new Centre will also see the College introduce brand-new courses and topics, such as retro fit-out, to support developments in sustainable construction techniques. It has already received the Government’s Levelling Up Champion Award.

For more information about what is on offer at the Centre, visit City of Bristol.

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