A Wirral firm will provide the construction, design and management coordination services on a new £8 million training campus which marks the start of the £4.5 billion Wirral Waters regeneration scheme.
Construction safety specialists Innov8 will oversee the clean-up of an area Birkenhead’s industrial docklands and the construction of a vocational training centre to help local unemployed workers acquire construction skills and trades.
The development, near Twelve Quays, is a joint venture between Wirral Metropolitan College and Peel Holdings. Wirral Met has secured a grant of £7.2 million from the Skills Funding Agency, while Peel has secured a £2.5 million loan from the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) through the Local Infrastructure Fund (LIF).
The LIF is focused on accelerating the delivery of Enterprise Zones (EZs), with the joint Mersey Waters EZ plans in Wirral and Liverpool one of only 24 EZ’s in the country. EZ status gives businesses tax incentives to support growth and job creation.
The funds will allow them to create a purpose-built training centre with Peel which will help give workers the skills they need to compete for jobs on the many future developments to be delivered through the Wirral Waters scheme.
The skills they learn could also help them secure work on the Liverpool Waters scheme and SuperPort, projects which are expected to generate an estimated 20,000 jobs in the region.
“It is a milestone project in the transformation of the Mersey region,” said Innov8 Operations Director Jeremy Meredith. “We are really proud to be playing a key role on the first project of Wirral Waters – kick-starting years of regeneration in the area.
“We have developed a close relationship with Peel Holdings since 2008, working with them on a number of major investment projects including the £138 million Port Salford Project. We have also recently completed a refurbishment project at one of Wirral Met’s existing sites.
“Peel has shown a real commitment to investing in the community and giving local people a chance to benefit from these projects. As a local firm our work with Peel is important not only to help deliver these significant developments but also to provide employment in the region.
“Innov8 has been able to offer local young people apprenticeships through our relationship with Peel, giving them practical skills which will enable them to find employment throughout their working lives. We also work to support Peel’s community programmes as the firm engages with local partners like Wirral Met to provide vital access to skills training.”
John Whittaker, chairman of The Peel Group, said: “Investing in our young, talented people and giving them the opportunity to develop the skills that businesses actually need is vital in helping us to grow and diversify the economy. That’s why we’re delighted to be developing a new College Campus for Wirral Met, which sits right at the heart of Wirral Waters.”
Innov8, which has offices on Wirral and in Manchester, London and Edinburgh, has been contracted to ensure the design and construction of the campus complies with the CDM regulations and provide evidence that all requirements have been met.
“At Innov8 we are experts in site safety,” said Jeremy. “Our work will ensure that not only is construction carried out safely, but that the design of the new building is inherently safe to use and maintain for many years to come.”