The project is a collaborative venture between The Manchester College and the Together Trust’s Bridge College.
Bridge College is relocating to the grounds of the former Rolls Royce factory on Pottery Lane in Openshaw. The 2,650 sq m site, shared by the colleges, will be linked to The Manchester College’s Openshaw Campus on Ashton Old Road via a new bridge across Clayton Road South.
The project will see the transformation of the vacant factory site into a college and a working horticultural site for land studies.
Bridge Centre will provide specialist teaching and learning for disabled young people and adults, and students with learning difficulties.
Work on the project started in October 2011. Once complete, Bridge College will include tailored teaching spaces, state of the art ICT, training kitchen, independence flat, a learning hub, medical centre and specialist therapy centres including a hydrotherapy pool.
John Shannon, Wates Construction business unit director in the northwest, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract by The Together Trust and The Manchester College to deliver such a unique project, and one which will significantly serve the educational needs of the college students and the wider community.
“We have an excellent team in place and we are fully committed to using this project as a catalyst to offering training and employment opportunities in and around East Manchester.”
Together Trust chief executive David Marriott added: “Bridge College’s move from Offerton to Openshaw will see the creation of a unique centre of expertise that sets a new standard for specialist further education facilities. As such, we wanted to work with a partner that not only wholly understands our aims and objectives for the building and our students, but also supports us in delivering added value benefits to the project. We selected Wates for the initiative as it met these criteria and more, and we are looking forward to working with them on this unique specialist education facility.”
It is expected that the building will receive a BREEAM rating of very good, through the internal and external environment monitoring of a fully automatic building energy management system (BEMS) and the installation of under floor heating.
Urban regeneration company New East Manchester acquired and remediated the former Rolls Royce site through a £3.6m grant from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).
The college is due for completion by summer 2012.