Levelling up at Bedford College Modern Construction Centre

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David Wilkins (white shirt) with VIPs

A delegation from the Government’s Levelling Up, Housing and Communities department visited the new construction centre at Bedford College this month.

The VIPs were given a tour of the Connolly Centre of Modern Construction (CMC) at Bedford College and spoke to students who are training to fill the demand from industry for recruits in construction, engineering, and care.

Director of Construction, David Wilkins, who hosted the visit said: “Off-site construction is the fast-forward way in the building industry and we have the best facility of its kind, with the most outstanding equipment, which is attracting interest from global companies and those wanting to train in the skills of the future.

“We are an exemplar for the rest of the country in construction training.”

The new £4.3m net carbon building has been made possible by funding via regional agency SEMLEP of £2.9 Million and a £750,000 donation by the Connolly Foundation. The Wixamtree Trust also donated £10,000.

Declared open by Mark Farmer, the Government’s champion of Modern Methods of Construction, on Wednesday October 20th 2021, the CMC contains some highly specialised equipment on which up to 100 will train for jobs, or upgrade their existing skills to match up to emerging ‘modern methods of construction’.

Ian Pryce CBE, CEO of The Bedford College Group (TBCG) said: “ We are closing that gap which we see between what happens in industries, and what is taught in college.”

The exterior of the CMC complements the look of the Brundtland Building on Cauldwell Street, itself a pioneering example of eco-retro fitting.

The stylish silver and grey colour scheme is highlighted across the Cauldwell Street/Riverside campus which blends one of the very oldest buildings in Bedford with the latest in modern, green construction techniques.

The finale will be the external refurbishment of the 1950s Tower Block so it blends in the with Bedford’s riverside skyline.

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