Commercial Property News
Plans to convert the derelict Springfield Brewery in Wolverhampton into a major university technical college for construction have been approved.
Associated Architects has partnered with Bouygues-owned Thomas Vale Construction to draw up detailed designs for the project, earning the right to do so by way of a recent competition win.
The project will be sponsored by the University of Wolverhampton along with the Construction Industry Training Board.
An agreement has already been reached to purchase the 12-acre plot, which has remained empty since 1991 following the closure of the Mitchells and Butler brewery.
The terms of the project will be finalised once planning permission has been granted.
Features of the plans include the relocation of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment to the site.
Experts claim that by having the two sites so close together, it will facilitate the building of a unique construction campus that will offer greater opportunities for both UTC and university students.
The site's famous M&B Springfield Brewery entrance arch, gatehouses and gates on Cambridge Street have been identified as the possible main entrance for the college.
Sympathetic repair will be undertaken on the grade two-listed building, while there will also be the addition of a new three-storey college building at the historic site.
The West Midlands Construction College has the backing of Wolverhampton City Council and more than 60 of the region's construction companies, including Wilmott Dixon, Morgan Sindall, Lovell Partnerships, Hewden, Redrow, Carillion, Barhale Construction and Balfour Beatty.
Completion for the project is set to come in time for a 2016 opening, offering some 600 places for construction students.
Much of the teaching at the new facility will be focused around both construction of and application of IT in associated building environments, as well as core GCSEs and A Levels.
Once graduating, students will have the option of pursuing construction-themed higher education courses or apprenticeships or into employment.
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