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The granary

Agristem Academy, South Staffordshire College

Value: £3.7M

Type: New build & Refurbishment

Partner: GF Tomlinson

G F Tomlinson was selected to transform a disused area of the Rodbaston Campus into the new state-of-the-art AgriSTEM Academy. The project formed part of the Midlands Engine, the Government’s strategy to proactively address the industry skills shortage. 

The project comprised delivery of three facilities:

  1. Sensitive restoration and repurpose of the Granary to create the hub of the Academy, housing a precision farming engineering lab, agricultural engineering workshops and Mechatronics Lab to enable teaching of AME subjects
  2. Multi Occupation Area, a new build extension to the Granary to provide workshop space for vocational learning for construction trades
  3. AgriTECH Building, a new build training workshop for learners working towards their qualifications in Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Motorsport

The project enabled the college to deliver its objectives to provide 349 additional Apprenticeships and 100 Traineeships in AME and AgriTECH by September 2018, meeting increased demand for educational space for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) and AgriTECH teaching.

The centrepiece of the project was the remodelling and refurbishment of the historic Granary, a traditional brick farm building which had stood derelict for several years. Works included restoration of the building envelope, new roof, stripping out and remodelling of all internal areas to provide 1,000m2 of learning space. 

The project was undertaken within the College’s busy agricultural campus, which remained operational throughout delivery of all three phases. 

Project highlights
  • 150 work experience placements and 13 apprenticeships, exceeding LEP employment and skills targets
  • Site tours for existing and potential staff and students to increase student course uptake
  • Key milestone events throughout construction to promote the College’s new facility and improve the perception of other potential funders
  • Protection of multiple species of nesting birds (including barn swallows who are of conservation concern), installation of bird boxes on the Granary and provision of replacement nesting sites in and around surrounding College buildings
  • Protection of three species of bats roosting in the Granary. Measures included installation of a bat loft, bat boxes and discreet lighting

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