From education to employment

Wirral Met students recognised at official opening of Hythe

Working in partnership to build skills across Wirral and the wider Liverpool City Region

Special guests from across Wirral and the wider Liverpool City Region have today attended the official opening of Hythe, Peel L&P’s high-tech business hub at Wirral Waters on Friday 11 March.

The event was an opportunity for all those involved in Hythe’s construction to celebrate the successful delivery of the transformational project, which has used innovative low-carbon construction techniques and will act as a catalyst for economic growth in Birkenhead.

During the construction of Hythe many Wirral Met College construction students benefited from site visits and other learning opportunities gaining practical on-site work experience with many resulting in full time roles in the construction industry.

Representatives from Wirral Council, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Merseyside Pension Fund and Wirral Met College, attended the event to officially open the ‘next generation’ office building, located in the Four Bridges neighbourhood at Wirral Waters.

After the ribbon cutting, five students from Wirral Met College who were involved in the construction of Hythe, were commended by Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, and Andy Young, Project Manager at GMI Construction Group, who presented them with vouchers in recognition of their involvement in the scheme.

Millie Fawcett and David Burdon both Wirral Met Carpentry and Joinery students assisted with dry liners of various floors and areas within Hythe, Alfie Jones and Alex, Plumbing L2 and 3 students worked on the heating system first fix, and an Electrical Installation L3 student assisted qualified electricians on the build with the cable containment fabrication including; conduit, tray and trunking systems that supply the power and lighting to all floors.

David said: “I really enjoyed working on Hythe. I thought it was a nice place to work, clean and I worked with good people there.  I also had a good mentor on site who taught me a lot. As a result of the experience I was taken on by a dry lining company and worked on multiple sites including Rochdale Infirmary. I am really pleased to be rewarded as I wasn’t expecting it.”

Millie said: “GMI was the first door that opened for me and since then plenty more have opened. I am grateful that they gave me this opportunity and I am really pleased to be recognised in this way.”

Sue Higginson, Principal at Wirral Met College said: “We are extremely proud of our students and what they have achieved here at Hythe. It is great to be able to shine a spotlight on that involvement.

“At Wirral Met we give all our students direct real-life work experience in order to prepare them for the vocation they are entering and to ensure they emerge with the skills, knowledge and behaviour sought after by industry employers.”

Richard Mawdsley, Director of Development for Wirral Waters at Peel L&P, said: “This is an exciting day for Wirral Waters. The success of Hythe is testament to the collaboration and partnership working of everyone involved, from our talented students and the local contractors who have been engaged in delivering the project, to our funders and construction partners.

“Hythe is a key part of the high-quality, sustainable urban neighbourhood that we are creating at Wirral Waters and it will provide a catalyst for economic growth in the area by providing high quality office space that will enable local businesses to expand.

“I would like to thank all the partners involved and the team at GMI Construction who have done a fantastic job delivering this incredible asset for Wirral Waters.”

Andy Young, Project Manager, said: “Leaving a legacy behind is important to our business, as is our partnership approach to our schemes.

“Working closely with Wirral Met College, we’ve been able to deliver a real world construction experience for students that will hopefully develop new site managers and construction workers of tomorrow.

“This relationship with Wirral Met is one we will continue to cultivate as we deliver more schemes like this in the region.”

Also in attendance were the Leader of Wirral Council, Cllr Jeanette Williamson; Chair of the Economy, Regeneration and Development Committee, Cllr Tony Jones; Cllr Cherry Povall, Deputy Chair of Merseyside Pension Fund; Sue Higginson, Principal of Wirral Met College; and Richard Mawdsley, Peel L&P’s Director of Development for Wirral Waters.

Hythe’s construction has met its BREEAM target rating of ‘Excellent’ by including low carbon procurement initiatives and innovative construction techniques which set high standards in sustainability and place it in the top 10% of all buildings for its green credentials.

Efficient building systems, sustainable urban drainage, the installation of photovoltaic panels, electric car charging points, cycling facilities, and future provisions for bike charging points all contributed to this achievement.

The construction of Hythe has also brought significant benefits to the local and the wider Liverpool City Region economy. Over £1.5m of the build costs were spent within the Liverpool City Region’s construction supply chain, with nearly a third of the 422 contractors working on Hythe were based within the Liverpool City Region. This was a direct result of Peel L&P and GMI Construction’s ‘Meet the Builder’ events.

Hythe has been funded by Peel L&P, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, through the Local Growth Fund, and the Merseyside Pension Fund, manged by CBRE’s Investment Advisory team, part of CBRE Capital Advisors. Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

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