Morgan Sindall Construction, working with Wirral Met College, has launched its second Knowledge Quad in the Liverpool City Region as part of its work building two Grade A office buildings in Birkenhead town centre for the Wirral Growth Company.
The Knowledge Quad is a multi-purpose training and learning facility located within a live Morgan Sindall Construction site. It delivers value by undertaking activity focusing on the four key areas of skills, education, employment and discovery.
The Knowledge Quad also creates a vital link between industry and education through the Education Partnership with Wirral Met College, ensuring that curriculums align with employer requirements and that students, trainees and apprentices at all levels are provided with the relevant knowledge and skills to help them succeed.
The launch of the new facility forms part of Morgan Sindall Construction’s social value plan for the project, which has also seen the company take on several members of staff as part of the Kickstart employment scheme. It also aligns with Wirral Met College’s education/industry partnerships and is a key component in their Wirral Waters Campus facility – a world-class training facility that was developed to support the regeneration plans for Wirral, as part of the wider Liverpool City Region.
Totalling 150,000 sq ft, the BREEAM Excellent-rated office buildings have been forward funded by institutional investor Canada Life Asset Management and are due for completion in autumn 2023, with Morgan Sindall Construction named as its contractor.
The two new office buildings mark a significant milestone in the transformation of Birkenhead, being the second Grade-A development in the area since the Queensgate development in 2014. They form the central hub of an exciting new business and leisure quarter being developed in the heart of Birkenhead, which will enable the borough to attract further significant investment and create more opportunities for local people.
One of the two five-storey office developments will be occupied by Wirral Council, with the other available for businesses to lease. Wirral Met College works as a key education partner with the Council, to ensure that skills are developed to enable local people to access the jobs that regeneration provides and effectively, build their community.
Wirral Growth Company is a 50:50 joint venture partnership between Wirral Council and national urban regeneration specialist, Muse Developments.
Once complete, the office buildings will be connected by new outdoor public realm and open, adaptable spaces for occupiers, residents and visitors to enjoy, as well as providing opportunities for events and pop-up activities stimulating the daytime and evening economy in the town centre.
Richard Potts, Liverpool area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said, “We’re really pleased to have launched our latest Knowledge Quad as part of our work helping to support the future economic and social wellbeing of Birkenhead and the Wirral.
“Since we began work on this project we’ve built up a strong local supply chain, and undertaken initiatives to ensure our work in the Wirral offers opportunities to groups that face barriers to developing careers in our industry. The Knowledge Quad is the latest step in making ensuring this development serves as a catalyst to address the key issues facing the local area, and we’re delighted to officially open it today.”
Sue Higginson, Principal of Wirral Met said, “Wirral Met College is delighted to be working in partnership with Morgan Sindall Construction. The launch of the Knowledge Quad is an exciting step forward in that partnership journey and will enable our students to gain experience by working alongside industry professionals in a live site environment
“The experience will put them ahead of the competition in terms of the key skills knowledge and behaviours needed for a career this growing industry. Morgan Sindall built our Wirral Waters Campus and we developed ways of working, through that project that became a legacy that we have not taken to another level.
“The Knowledge Quad provides employment pathway programmes for local people to access skills, focusing particularly on underrepresented groups including UK veterans, pre-employment skills workshops and we are also working with numerous schools to promote the many career options that the built environment provides.”
The Knowledge Quad concept began at Morgan Sindall Construction’s £150m Paddington Village multi-project site in Liverpool City Council’s Knowledge Quarter, the scale of which enabled a substantial investment into tackling the worsening skills gap in construction and maximising the socio-economic value of the development.
It provided employment pathway programmes for underrepresented groups including UK veterans, pre-employment skills workshops and numerous schools, college and university engagement sessions. The concept has now been replicated nationally with three live facilities currently located in the North West region.