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turf cutting milburn innovation park 850px 2"This will an outstanding opportunity for our students as they will get to see, work on, experience and learn about a variety of different buildings that they may come across when they progress into the world of work." Sarah Bowers, Project Manager

The Milburn Campus at West Suffolk College launched a brand new ‘Milburn Innovation Park’ Project with an official turf cutting ceremony. The turf was cut by Douglas Field, Chair of New Anglia LEP who has supported the project from the outset, on Monday 10 December.

The project, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK promises to showcase the skills and technologies of our students by constructing 10 different building ‘pods’ (or single storey buildings, being built in a cul de sac formation). The pods will demonstrate different types of construction from traditional skills, clay lump, lime plastering, flint work, medieval timber frame, thatching to modern methods of construction, e.g. modular construction. The site will adhere to all working site rules and regulations.

Sarah Bowers, Project Manager for the project said “This will an outstanding opportunity for our students as they will get to see, work on, experience and learn about a variety of different buildings that they may come across when they progress into the world of work.”

The project is a New Anglia Skills Deal Project in collaboration with lead employer Morgan Sindall and New Anglia Building Growth Group. The aim of the Milburn Innovation Park Project is to bridge the gap in education identified by local employers between the classroom/workshop and working on a live construction site.

turf cutting milburn innovation park 850px

As part of the project, the College will introduce new training in Building Information Modelling (BIM) filling a void in current training provision within the region. Sarah said “It is important that our training participants leave college with the skills and competencies required within the region in both conservation and modern construction and are fully prepared for their first job in the construction industry.”

With the official launch having taken place on Monday 10 December 2018, the team are hoping that building work can commence in the New Year which should see widespread industry involvement and investment throughout.

The project will also serve to connect our students with employers, contractors, consultants and different suppliers reinforcing West Suffolk College’s mission to provide the students with valuable connections with employers in order to maximise their future potential.