Laing wins Oldham College contest

Oldham College has appointed Laing O'Rourke as its construction partner to redevelop and refurbish its 1960s campus.

Laing O'Rourke's design team, led by Aedas, will create a masterplan of phased projects across the campus in Oldham.

The design-and-build contract was procured through the North West Construction Hub following a six-week mini competition.

The masterplan area of the Rochdale Road campus covers 12.75 acres. Funding of £7m has been secured so far from the Skills Funding Agency and College reserves.

Shelagh McNerney, Oldham College's director of capital programmes and regeneration at Oldham College, said: "The College needs repairs and improvement and with challenging economic and investment conditions, it is essential that we are efficient with every penny as well as visionary about what we can achieve to make the learning environment more inspiring for Oldham's young people."

The college said Laing O'Rourke's bid was selected because of its commitment to work with students to provide new apprenticeships, the alignment of the curriculum with industry, work with the local supply chain and support of community-related activities. The company also provided some innovative approaches to the college's capital expenditure programme thus making the best use of the multi-million funds available for the redevelopment.

Alun Francis, principal and chief executive of Oldham College, said: "This is a very important point in the redevelopment of the College. Having secured funding for the first phase, we now have a partner on side that shares our vision of what we can achieve within the town. This is not just about bricks and mortar. Oldham needs an ambitious College committed to supporting economic growth, jobs and skills in the broadest sense. We are constantly improving and widening the curriculum to meet the needs of learners and employers, and we need to create an environment for students and staff that supports this.

"Equally important is that we want the capital programme itself to bring jobs and business locally, and our partner will help us achieve this."

The team from Laing O'Rourke will be based on site at Oldham College for the duration of the project.

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