iMET (Innovation Manufacturing Engineering Technology), in Alconbury Weald has received planning permission.
Richard Baggaley, iMET’s Project Manager, said “This planning permission is the culmination of months of work to see the iMET concept made reality. iMET will be a dynamic and flexible environment delivering a range of courses to meet the evolving needs of the local economy where traditional training provision is not able to cope.”
iMET will deliver technical, advanced and higher vocational skills training in Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology to regional industry by providing specialist equipment in a modern environment within a facility that boasts excellent transport links. The two-storey building brings together industrial style workshops, laboratories and collaborative work environments. The double-height workshops provide space for larger scale training and a further wing provides smaller scale delivery rooms and specialist laboratories. Between these a flexible collaboration space provides opportunities for informal group and project work as well as offering a venue for employer events.
Located at Alconbury Weald in the heart of the Enterprise Campus iMET will directly support the ambitions of companies here and in the wider local economy. Zubin Masters, Associate Director of Bond Bryan Architects explained: “Using our experience of creating environments for Education and Advanced Manufacturing Bond Bryan were able to support Huntingdonshire Regional College and its partners to develop a brief and an elegant design solution for this unique facility. The designs for iMET are a result of a genuine collaborative effort between the design team, the client, Urban & Civic, the master developers, and the contractor, Willmott Dixon”.
The iMET project’s capital funding of £10.5million was secured by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) via its Growth Deal. The iMET design aims to create an economic and flexible solution that will nevertheless create a distinctive, high quality addition to the campus that reflects the importance of the new facility.
iMET will also be a case study for the use of BIM (Building Information Modelling) and Government Soft Landings and will provide the project process for those training within iMET and the construction industry in general. BIM is designed to minimise construction and post construction costs through defined outcomes and virtual planning.
Work began on site in August 2016 with doors opening to students in September 2017.