Central Beds construction support

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Bedford College students are to use the success of the new Flitwick Leisure Centre development as part of a learning module for construction.

The project reached an important milestone with a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the official start of construction works which has been supported by a £2million Sport England grant, secured via a Lottery Funding arrangement, and a land exchange between Central Bedfordshire Council and Flitwick Town Council.

Bedford College invited council Central Beds Council Planning Case Officer Dee Walker to give a presentation to Level 3 Technical and Professional Construction students and to discuss links between their course and the planning process in action.

After a presentation that discussed the project from its conception almost two years ago, plus issues such as legislation, the students were able to ask questions and were then given a technical information pack that included the Flitwick Leisure Centre plans, design and access statement, officer's report and the planning permission decision.

Dee Walker said: "The new Flitwick Leisure Centre has been a big project and the planning process, while being a complex stage of the development, has been hugely rewarding. It was a pleasure to share that knowledge and experience with the students of Bedford College."

Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Deputy Executive Member for Community Services, said: "I am very proud of everything that Central Bedfordshire Council has achieved with the Flitwick Leisure Centre project. It highlights the strength of our Leisure Facilities Strategy,  and for Bedford College to recognise its worth as an educational tool and a case study in successful planning, is further reward to everyone involved.”

"I'm sure, for the construction students, the development of this outstanding new facility, from the original ideas to its final completion in 2016, will serve as a fantastic real-time example of the processes involved and prove beneficial to their education."

SDC Construction Group, who have begun building works on the site adjacent to the current leisure centre, will offer the students and apprentices, aged between 16 and 20, the chance to visit the Flitwick Leisure Centre site throughout 2015 and until its completion to keep up-to-date with the development as part of their planning and building module.

Claire Cartwright, Bedford College Construction Course Manager, said: "It was a brilliant session and the students enjoyed hearing all about the leisure centre. Having plans, seeing artist impressions and looking at the design and access statements really brought the project to life for them. They are looking forward to some possible trips to see the actual build take place over the next few years."