Proposals for a new Construction Skills Workshop at City College Norwich (CCN) will move forward after the project received £4M in investment from the Department for Education’s post-16 capacity fund.
The building will provide CCN with more teaching space to meet the growing demand for its construction courses. The college currently provides 84% of the construction training for 16-19 year olds in Norwich, and is also the primary provider of practical construction skills for the county.
Situated on the southern side of the Ipswich Road campus, the proposed building comprises of two floors and will provide much needed workshop space for teaching with a specific focus on joinery and woodwork. As well as creating an inspiring environment internally, the new building looks to provide a better connection between the existing Construction Skills buildings and the Digi-Tech Factory.
A larger footprint at first floor level enables a covered external area to the main entrance that promotes social interaction. Large picture windows at ground level and the prominent first floor corner provide views into the workshops to show case the activity taking place within. The insulated metal cladding matches the aesthetic of the college’s Advanced Construction Engineering (ACE) Centre, which was refurbished by LSI Architects in 2022.
CCN is committed to ensuring the new building supports the government‘s targets on sustainability and net zero carbon emissions, and so passive design measures have been introduced to minimise the energy use of the building. This includes the provision of an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP), a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) system, and solar PV’s.
The investment will also see minor re-modelling works to the existing bricklaying workshops found within the college’s Norfolk Building, in an effort to increase internal floor area and student capacity.
Director Matt Clarke said of the scheme: “We are acutely aware of the challenges that the construction industry is facing in relation to skills shortages and so we are so pleased to have been part of the development of the project so far. The new building and refurbishment of the existing NVQ Building will provide the physical infrastructure for the continued growth of provision to meet the skills shortages within the construction industries.
“We’re also pleased to be continuing our existing relationship with City College Norwich, and our commitment of inspiring the next generation of talent. Currently the Practice supports the college’s T Level Built Environment course throughout the academic year, providing a realistic project brief for students to work on, industry placement opportunities and also introductions with other employers in the industry.”
Subject to planning, the new facilities will be open in Autumn 2024.