The NMITE will comprise three new Centres with a total capacity to host 600 future learners, degree apprenticeship and CPD short course participants at any one time.
The additional £1.6million of funding will be invested into The Centre for Automated Manufacturing (CAM).
Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, President and Chief Executive, NMITE, said: ”NMITE warmly welcomes this further funding which will be used to accelerate the construction and will result in more than 100 local construction jobs. The CAM itself will impart the skills required for the delivery of Industry 4.0 or the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, intended to boost manufacturing output and digital connectivity. Through its work with partners and businesses we anticipate that the CAM’s legacy will be to enhance automation capability through skills, training and applied research.”
NMITE has also just appointed RRA Architects who are renowned for being a highly innovative architectural practice, to design the CAM. Tom Froggatt, Associate, RRA Architects, said: “As a local company we are delighted to be involved with this project to work alongside NMITE to design a new Centre on the Enterprise Zone. It will provide start-of-the-art facilities for future learners and we hope will prove to be a fantastic asset to the engineering industry within Herefordshire and the rest of the country.”
Having received planning consent through the Local Development Order Process (LDO) and with its funding agreement for £5.66m from the Local Growth Fund now in place, NMITE has appointed experienced local firm Speller Metcalfe as its main contractor. Stuart Brisbane Head of Estates at NMITE said: “Throughout the tight procurement process Speller Metcalfe demonstrated not only a passion for the Hereford area and a commitment to local spending but a real understanding of NMITE including offering some exciting and imaginative ways to use this building project to offer hands on learning opportunities including co-production workshops and online learning tools for our future learners.
“Together with our partners we fully intend to create a flexible space focussed on the progression of timber manufacturing and advanced production techniques, innovation and creativity that can evolve over time to inspire and train many future generations. And as a future innovative Higher Education provider we will continue to collaborate with industry, ensuring that our education and training is of a high standard, forward thinking and relevant,” added Toby Kinnaird, Head of Partnerships at NMITE.
Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, NMITE, added: ”The Skylon Campus is central to NMITE’s vision of transforming the way engineers learn, forever. It is hugely inspiring to think that within these three Skylon Centres the engineers of tomorrow will develop independence of mind and truly diverse thinking. As much as we anticipate that they will go on to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, the new Campus will also have an impact closer to home. The jobs created by its construction as well as the fact that the Centres will also be used for the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of local people working in manufacturing for example, will further contribute to the regeneration of Hereford and the wider region.”
Cllr David Hitchiner, Leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “It is great to see NMITE’s Skylon Campus moving towards fruition. The new jobs this will create, as well as the cutting-edge learning opportunities for future learners is great news for our local economy which, like the rest of the country, is still working hard to mitigate and overcome the impact of Covid-19.”
Andrew Manning Cox, Chairman of the Hereford Enterprise Zone, and a Marches LEP Board Member, said: “NMITE’s new centres will be based next door to the newly transformed Shell Store business incubation hub, developing a dedicated campus combining learning, skills and enterprise leading to the creation of jobs. We’re delighted to welcome NMITE to Skylon Park and to be supporting the development of the project through the LEP directed funding.”
NMITE’s ambitious plans for Skylon Campus are due to be completed in 2022 when the three Centres will start their lives as specialised learning spaces.