In December 2007 Prospects acquired the old Hazelwood Foods factory, which had lain empty for nearly 10 years and was in bad state of repair. The intention was to convert the building into a Centre of Excellence for Construction and Built Environment, once funding could be arranged. Due
to changes to our delivery requirements and the deteriorating condition of the building it soon became apparent that this was going to require a demolition and rebuild rather than a conversion and at a greater cost than originally thought.
After considerable effort, external funding was obtained in November 2009 from The Housing & Communities Agency (£3m) and The Skills Funding Agency (£5m) with Prospects contributing the balance (£2m). Due to the nature of these funding streams the monies had to be committed to separate contracts, so, to utilise the HCA funds, demolition of the old factory commenced in December 2009 and builders were appointed to build the ‘shell’ of the new building. This work’ was completed by 31st March 2010.
During this period the plans for the main build were finalised and builders appointed to start in June 2010 with a completion date of August 2011. This timetable was thrown into disarray when the SFA suspended pending a review of the capital funding in England.
In June 2011 the SFA gave approval to recommence the scheme. Once this approval was given Prospects worked hard to finalise new plans, obtain planning permission and agree a contract value with the builder. All of this was concluded in October and the contractors returned to site at the beginning of November.
Completion of the building is now scheduled for July 2012, with an opening planned for September 2012. This building will then provide state of the art practical and teaching facilities for existing and new students undertaking courses in construction and the build environment as well as a canteen and social areas for the whole campus.