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Construction skills centre to train Cumbria's energy workforce

19 Jul 11 Construction is scheduled to begin in September on a new £7m construction training centre in Cumbria.

The Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre will be built next to Lakes College in Lillyhall, West Cumbria.

The aim is to ensure a supply of trained workers to build the new nuclear power station at Sellafield, as well as offshore windfarms in the area and thenew £90m West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

Project partner Cumbria County Council has published a contract notice inviting bids for the £5.5m contract to build the 3,373 sq m training centre. Completion is scheduled for late 2012.

The chosen contractor will need to design in to low-carbon construction technologies such as photovoltaic cells, ground source heating and commit to work with the college so that the development itself is a training project.

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An initiative called Britain’s Energy Coast aims to established West Cumbria as a centre of excellence and a national hub for low carbon and renewable energy generation. Linking education and training facilities directly to the needs of employers is a key part of the strategy.

The Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre is being jointly funded by Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) with £4m, Britain’s Energy Coast Campus with £2m and Lakes College with £1m.

Rob Rimmer, programme director of Britain’s Energy Coast Campus, says: “The area at Lillyhall will now soon have a state-of-the art construction training centre sitting alongside world-class engineering learning delivered at the nearby Energus facility. This hub of expert training is helping to put local people and businesses at the forefront of the energy and nuclear renaissance set for west Cumbria in the coming years. The significant funding from

Nuclear Management Partners has unlocked the project. The Nuclear Partners of NMP, Nuclear Decommissioning A and Sellafield Ltd are beginning to make a significant difference to the future economic well-being of West Cumbria.”

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