The director met last week and decided, in the face of local lobbying, not to rush the closure of the Bircham Newton site.
CITB announced in November that it was closing the National Construction College in north Norfolk, stopping the direct delivery of training and outsourcing back office functions. [See our previous report here.]
In a statement they said: “At the recent Kings Lynn roundtable meeting CITB was asked to consider a proposal to retain its head office at Bircham Newton until December 2019. After careful consideration the board has confirmed the proposal based on the high level of commercial interest CITB has generated in the future development of the site. This commitment will enable CITB to work closely with local stakeholders to shape the future of the site with interested parties.
“Maintaining CITB’s head office presence at Bircham Newton on site until December 2019 will support a more rapid sale of the training college, which we anticipate to commence during the summer of 2018. CITB will then be well placed to go to market on the remainder of the site.”
Tender documents for the services that CITB is now outsourcing are likely to be published before the end of the month, so that new suppliers are up and running before the end of 2018.
Maria Pilfold, employer CITB board member, said: “After careful consideration at our board meeting, we decided to a maintain presence at Bircham Newton no later than the end of 2019, recognising a small number of roles which may be needed to oversee final exit arrangements or development.
“CITB will keep its promise to industry to reform, moving to a new single Head Office site in 2020 which is a crucial element of our proposals. This decision offers further clarity to CITB colleagues and will enable the business to start formal consultations with employees in the near future.”
Diana Garnham, independent CITB board member, said: “Our change programme has been planned to meet the expectations of both the construction industry and government, who have been clear that the status quo is not an option. Their feedback gave a very clear message that industry and government support depends on CITB’s continuation of change. We are staying on track with our commitment to industry.”