The next generation of construction workers are set for a bright future thanks to the work of the Greater Brighton Economic Board (GBEB).
Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, decorators and plasterers are among the trades to be taught at the new £9 million Trades and Construction Centre in east Brighton.
The building has been made possible by local growth deal funding, secured by Greater Brighton through the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, as part of a drive to boost skills in the wider area.
Ahead of the hub being opened to students in September, GBEB chairman Dan Humphreys was given a tour of the site in Wilson Avenue by Nick Juba, CEO of Greater Brighton Metropolitan College (the MET).
“Greater Brighton was formed three years ago as local authorities, businesses and education providers realised we could do more by working together.
“We want to combine our skills and resources to boost the local economy, boost jobs, boost productivity and boost quality of life for people living across the region.
“This amazing new centre is a perfect example of what difference Greater Brighton can make, giving people the skills to thrive in the 21st century economy.”
The centre is just one of a number of projects which has received support from the GBEB.
Cllr Humphreys heard how trades were previously taught on three different sites at City College Brighton & Hove before the further education college merged with Northbrook in Worthing and Shoreham to form the MET.
The £9 million of funding secured from the LEP allowed the construction of a new hub in east Brighton to expand the college’s courses in construction and trades.
The hub will be a base for 500 students a year across the Greater Brighton area, which stretches from Worthing across to Newhaven, Brighton up to East Grinstead. Students and apprentices from Worthing will continue to be able to access local construction courses at other MET campuses in the Greater Brighton region.
External construction work was completed in April, a week ahead of schedule.
Those at the college are now working with students and staff to develop a kit list to ensure it is fully kitted out in time for the new autumn intake.
Cllr Humphreys also heard how the development was one that was literally created in the Greater Brighton region: Sussex-based HNW Architects designed the new building, while property consultancy practice NorthGates, which work from an office just outside Shoreham, oversaw the project management.
Mr Juba, CEO of the MET, said:
“I want to say thank you to the Greater Brighton Economic Board and the local enterprise partnership for all their support.
“I am a board member of both and being involved in both of those organisations has given the MET a chance to thrive while thinking about how we organise our courses and provision to support local communities
“That investment that both organisations have made in this facility is very much appreciated and I know our students will be saying the same thing.”