HPA Architects to Lead Bid to Create Cumbria Institute of Technology
HPA are leading the proposal to create a Cumbria Institute of Technology (IoT), which is in the final stages to win a share of £120 million of government funding.
The bid for a new multi-million pound training facility led by Furness College, set to be based at the state-of-the-art £47 million Channelside campus in Barrow, would bring together the University of Cumbria and partner FE colleges Lakes and Kendal as well as numerous key employers from across the county.
Institutes of Technology are collaborations between colleges and universities to deliver higher education technical training in science, technology, engineering, and maths. Part of the government’s flagship programme, the IoT would provide a new, professional environment for teaching within the key sectors of manufacturing and engineering, advanced healthcare and information, and communication technology.
HPA are working with Furness College to create a scheme for a new purpose-built facility in Barrow-in-Furness as well as revamping existing spaces in Carlisle, Workington, and Kendal. Director of Curriculum, Kate Colebourn, who is leading the bid on behalf of the college, alongside HPA, said the aim was to meet the area’s need for advanced academic and technical skills:
“We know there is a demand for higher-level skills in the key areas of digital, healthcare, engineering, and manufacturing so we are delighted that our bid has progressed, with the support of all the project partners and the backing of our Local Enterprise Partnership. This institute would be a game changer for the county, creating a range of new facilities to increase access to much needed advanced training to meet employer demand and narrow the skills gap.”
Furness College is among 13 bids going through to the final round, with eight winners to be announced later this year. The proposal will now be scrutinised in detail to test its viability, feasibility, and deliverability.
HPA had previously worked with Furness College to deliver the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Building (AMTC) which went on to win the ‘BBC Building of the Decade‘ for Isle of Man and Cumbria. Zoe Hooton, Director at HPA, commented: “This study has given us a real insight into the delivery of practical vocational education in the county and only highlights the need for more investment in the Institutions to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of the communities and employers they provide for.”
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