Eric Wright lands DfE Cumbria college job

The construction group has been appointed to deliver upgrades and additions to Energy Coast University Technical College’s site in Workington, including a 22,000 sq ft workshop, a sports pitch and pavilion.

Eric Wright Group subsidiary Eric Wright Construction is scheduled to start work next week and complete the project early next summer.

The college spans two sites at Lillyhall Industrial Estate and provides academic, practical and technical education for pupils aged 14-19. The new build scheme and modifications are intended to give students broader access to facilities on site.

The plans from the Department for Education were approved by Allerdale Council in April. They feature the construction of new engineering workshops and support spaces, reconfiguration of existing spaces to provide construction workshops and further teaching support spaces, external work bays, a replacement sports pitch and changing pavilion, and a new pedestrian crossing to connect the college’s two sites.

The new build element, which will comprise 22,000 sq ft of floorspace, has been designed by architect Cassidy + Ashton. It has a ridged roof based on a contemporary design and finished with aluminium insulated composite cladding walls, according to planning documents.

The internal space mainly comprises engineering and electronic workshop education facilities served by a central corridor. A landscaped strip of land will divide it from the existing college building – also built by Eric Wright Construction, in 2013 – under the plans.

The site is around 5km south-east of Workington and 9km north of Whitehaven.

Eric Wright Construction director, James Eager, said: “The college is providing much-needed education and training for young people in Cumbria in collaboration with local employers, and we’re pleased to be helping them develop their exceptional facilities even further.

“As part of our commitment to the scheme, we have already engaged with the UTC students during the design development stage.

“We will also be providing a live learning environment for some of the students so they can join our construction teams on site and put into practice some of the theory they have studied at the college.”

And Cherry Tingle, principle of the Energy Coast UTC, added: “These new facilities will really take the student experience to the next level and we’re excited to see Eric Wright’s team start on site.

“We desperately need people with skills in engineering and civil engineering, as well as an excellent academic education…This is really good news for the area and a real boost for west Cumbria.”

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