BAE Systems has opened an 80,000 sq ft Academy for Skills & Knowledge within the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone, Lancashire.
The £15.6m facility was built over the past three years by main contractor ICG, and has 26 classrooms alongside advanced manufacturing technologies and factory layouts used at BAE Systems, including robotics, 3D printers, a virtual reality cave, a composites clean room, electronics and welding facilities.
In early 2017, the academy will accommodate a Hawk jet trainer for apprentices to understand the engineering complexity and build of an aircraft at first hand.
The academy is intended to train all apprentices and graduates in the company’s military aircraft business, as well as providing skills development for its 13,000 employees.
BAE was advised by structural engineering specialist TRP Consulting, which worked on the development from conception to completion.
TRP is also working as structural engineer on a Defence Logistics Centre, under construction at the emerging Enterprise Zone.
The 180,000 sq ft logistics warehouse, alongside the academy, is expected to act as catalyst for further development.
Pochin is the main contractor for the warehouse.
TRP Consulting director Tim Royle said of the academy opening: “The development work being carried out at Samlesbury, both on the aircraft manufacturing site and the enterprise zone, is great news for jobs, skills and the economy, and for the Northern Powerhouse plans that businesses like BAE Systems are getting behind.”