State-of-the-art further education facilities on course to open in September

The Manchester College construction site
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Construction of state-of-the-art industry standard facilities at The Manchester College’s Openshaw campus has reached a milestone in the build process as Caddick Construction completed the fit of the1,650 sq metre roof on the centrepiece sports hall.

The indoor sport facility will host a six-court multi discipline sports hall with viewing gallery, together with a media suite with match analysis capability. The build – which is part of a new £25m investment in redeveloping the Openshaw campus – remains on schedule to open to students in the College’s Centre of Excellence for Sport this September.

The sports centre is at the heart of the development which broke ground in July 2020. The expansive roof over the facility took five weeks of precision work to successfully lower and secure into place.

Alongside the sports facilities will be the Industry Excellence Academies which include a state-of-the-art hospital suite including a mock hospital ward with infectious disease area for Health and Social Care students, specialist facilities for carpentry, joinery, brickwork and plastering for students in Construction and Engineering, and a mock nursery setting for students studying Childhood Studies, plus a motor vehicle learning facility.

The construction project has, so far, created jobs on site for forklift drivers, labourers, apprentice engineers, cleaners and gatemen. It has also provided critical hands-on training opportunities for students from The Manchester College studying on the ACE-accredited Build Environment BTEC course.

The construction is part of LTE Group’s £140m long term investment strategy in response to an increase in demand for regional training and skills.

The investment in the construction training facilities is proving to be particularly timely as the North West construction and logistics sectors enjoy a boom, fuelled by national and international inward investment into the region.

Managing director of Caddick Construction’s North West office, Ian Threadgold, said: “The roof going on smoothly was a major milestone for the team and it was completed on schedule, despite the Manchester climate pretty much throwing everything at us.

“The facility is really starting to take shape now and it will offer the very latest training and educational opportunities for students arriving back in September.”

Lisa O’Loughlin, principal at The Manchester College, said: “We are delighted that the construction is on schedule and are looking forward to welcoming our first students into these brand new facilities this September.”

John Thornhill, CEO of LTE Group, said: “Investing in our Openshaw Campus is just one element of a broader £140m investment into new facilities, which includes the brand new five-storey city centre campus currently under construction next to the AO Arena in Manchester city centre, which will open to students September 2022.

“Investment at this level across multiple locations provides valuable opportunities for future students, ultimately providing a skilled workforce for the Greater Manchester region.”

The Manchester College is one of the largest further education colleges in the UK and largest single provider of 16-19, adult and higher education in Greater Manchester. More than 25% of Greater Manchester’s learning provision is undertaken by the college.

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