Isle of Wight College

A new Centre of Excellence on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight College secured approval to a successful £11 million bid to develop a new 3,000 m2 Centre of Excellence for Composites, Marine and Advanced Manufacturing from the Solent LEP as part of its commitment to the investment in the future skills needs of the Solent economy. The facility will be located in Whippingham, East Cowes, offering specialised education and training for around 600 students.

The bid for funding for this project was led by GKN Aerospace and supported by other local employers in the composites, marine and advanced manufacturing industries. Debbie Lavin, Isle of Wight College Principal describes the project:

“This a massive breakthrough for the Isle of Wight. The new centre will create a world-class workforce and help to assure sustainable long term economic success for local people and the island as a whole.”

Debbie Lavin, College Principal

The Contract with construction partners, Balfour Beatty, was let in December 2015 with work due to start on site in early 2016.

Our role

PMc Ltd have been appointed by the Solent LEP to provide project assurance advice to the College and the LEP on the delivery of the new Centre of Excellence for Composite, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine. We were appointed in September 2015 and have helped work with the College, their contractor and project manager to close a £2m gap on the project budget and we’re delighted that contracts were entered into in December – on budget and scope.

During 2016 we will continue to support the College and the LEP on the delivery of this important project – bringing our skills, knowledge and experience to help create an outstanding new learning environment on the Isle of Wight.

Peter Marsh was appointed by the Solent LEP to help the Isle of Wight College and its professional team address a £2m difference between the available funds and the post tender cost packages on the College’s flagship ‘Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine’. His first priority was to clearly understand the College’s strategic priorities for this project and how it would benefit the students and employers. Peter’s comprehensive experience enabled him to quickly identify a broad range of solutions and devise a robust and structured framework for addressing the identified gap which built on the Value Engineering process that the College had commenced. With clear targets set and a timetable for action agreed, the College and their advisors were able to bring the project back within budget whilst preserving the required level of contingency to offset identified risks.  Peter’s no nonsense approach and significant experience of working with LEPs and contractors on other projects helped us secure the funding for the project and maintain the confidence of the LEP in our combined ability to deliver.

Debbie Lavin, Principal, Isle of Wight College

The Solent LEP is committed to an ambitious programme of investment to support economic growth and raise productivity levels in the Solent. Developing the areas pipeline of marine engineering skills forms an important part of our investment programme, and the Isle of Wight’s Centre of Excellence for Composite, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine is a key project for the LEP.  The LEP approached Peter Marsh Consulting to assist the College with delivery of the project.  Peter has worked effectively with the College, their advisors and the LEP’s due diligence consultant to ensure the project has a solid basis for delivery.

Stuart Baker, Head of Local Growth, Solent LEP

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