Plans go in for new specialist training facility for Chatteris
Hopes for a new multi-million pound training facility in Fenland have taken a step closer to being realised with the submission of a planning application.
Stainless Metalcraft have applied to Fenland District Council for permission to build the training centre on its site in Chatteris giving details of what the proposed building will look like and how it will be laid out.
The move comes after the company, which is a specialist engineering and manufacturer supplying mission critical products to the nuclear, medical, big science and energy sectors, secured £3.16m from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority's Local Growth Fund to build a training centre.
A design statement prepared on behalf of Stainless by Devonshire Architects in support of the proposal explains: "The proposed scheme is a new build, 1,421 sqm purpose-built training facility; access road; car and cycle parking; landscaping and associated infrastructure.
"The building has been designed to reflect the vocational function of the building, whilst ensuring that the design reflects the predominant nature of the site as a gateway into Chatteris."
It explains the company, which employs 133 staff including 19 apprentices, intends to increase its turnover "significantly" over the next three years with t the training centre project being a "fundamental pillar of this ambition".
The project is to provide a purpose-built training centre on part of the existing Metalcraft site to accommodate up to 130 apprentices per annum. The statement adds: "The need for the training centre has been identified by Stainless Metalcraft and a number of businesses/education providers in the wider Fenland area.
"The Stainless Metalcraft business plan is to create an advanced manufacturing innovation launchpad in Chatteris as referenced in the local industrial strategy for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The project is supported by the Cambridge and Peterborough combined Authority via Growth Deal Funding.
"The provision of the new training centre will meet the needs of local and wider area businesses and address the lack of training facilities at present. The facility can be used for upskilling of existing personnel as well as retraining across multiple skill sectors, the facility will be suitable for conference and meeting space as well as teaching and training."
The statement adds: "The building is split between ‘dirty’ teaching on the ground floor and ‘clean’ teaching on the first floor.
"The ground floor is predominantly workshop space with associated handwashing and locker space. The workshops are located at the rear of the building so that access and services associated with these areas are hidden from the primary facades.
"The most visually prominent area of the ground is the south east corner, which fronts the entrance and the approach to the building. Within this section of the building are located the café / reception space and the primary
"The café and main entrance are located behind large areas of curtain walling, to provide a visually interesting area when viewed externally. The staircase is set back from the main façade, providing a void up to the first floor, and a prominent feature on the main south façade.
The first floor is efficiently planned to ensure maximum use of the space for educational purposes. The main staircase and lift core are located in such a way that classrooms, IT and CAD rooms can be evenly distributed around the perimeter of the floor plan. This allows maximum use of the external façade for natural daylighting.
"Areas which would not benefit as much from external windows have been located in the centre of the building.
"The colour palette will be kept intentionally simple, allowing the feature entrance area to stand out. The cladding proposed for the majority of the building is a sinusoidal metal cladding system, installed horizontally along the ground floor and vertically around the first floor. It would be a light-mid grey around the base, and a mid-grey around the first floor."