Plans in for Cumbria manufacturing centre

A planning application has been submitted for a £3.4m Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre at Furness College in Barrow-in-Furness.

The 14,000 sq ft centre will host engineering and advanced manufacturing research, as well as rapid prototyping and high-voltage test laboratories. It will be large enough to allow the college to recruit up to 1,150 apprentices at any one time.

Lancaster-based Harrison Pitt Architects was appointed to design the centre which will help the college provide students with the skills and training required by some of the area's biggest employers, such as BAE Systems, Siemens, GSK, Kimberly Clark and Centrica.

In July 2014 Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership secured £1.2m from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills as part of its growth deal to go towards the project, with the college adding its own funding contribution.

The planning application has been submitted to Barrow-in-Furness Council. If approved, work could start on the project in May 2015 and be completed by February 2016.

Zoe Hooton, architect at Harrison Pitt Architects, said: "This centre will be designed to reflect the processes used by highly-specialised international companies in the local area who we have collaborated with closely.

"Along with the college we have also researched similar facilities across the country to ensure this project puts Furness College at the forefront of advanced manufacturing skills and training. It's great to be involved in a project that will help hundreds of young people secure a career in the advanced manufacturing sector."

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