Multi-million pound college contract awarded

CONSTRUCTION, infrastructure and design company, Morgan Sindall has been awarded a £10 million contract to transform the College of West Anglia’s campus in Wisbech.

The scheme involves the creation of a new technology block and engineering training centre for the college and the development of new offices for Cambridgeshire County Council.

The technology block is part of a £35 million investment in the campus and will allow students to study in bespoke facilities, with special features such as garages with rolling road systems, creating a real world learning environment.

Bob Ensch, area director for Morgan Sindall, said: “The College of West Anglia development is ambitious and forward thinking. We are delighted to be able to bring our experience as one of the UK’s leading providers of buildings for higher education to this project.

“The upgraded campus will bring genuine benefits to its students and the local community.  It has an important role to play in the region, giving young people in and around Wisbech the opportunity to develop their skills in key occupational areas, such as engineering, thereby increasing their chances of gaining employment in this challenging economic climate.”

Cambridgeshire County Council is investing £5 million in the technology block and £6.5 million in the new county offices building, which will allow the council to have a visible presence in Wisbech, with around 240 staff operating from the purpose-built space.

Local contractors will have the opportunity to bid for tenders on the scheme, which will involve around 60 to 70 people working on site. The development is expected to be a key project for the Wisbech community, with a high degree of local involvement.

Both buildings are expected to achieve a BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) rating of Very Good, and will include new biomass heating systems which burn either gas or wood chips from waste wood.

Work will start on the building in March and is expected to be completed early in 2013.

County councillor Steve Count, cabinet member for performance and resources, said: “This project is a major development in Wisbech which will bring benefits to the whole community. The investment in the new engineering block will make a huge difference to generations of future engineers, while the new council office will help us generate significant savings in the future. Congratulations to Morgan Sindall for winning this contract.”

Recent Morgan Sindall successes in higher education include handing over the £18.5 million development of the new Lowestoft Sixth Form College and also the completion of £45 million Bideford College in North Devon. The firm is presently on site building £28 million new halls of residence at the University of Reading.