Stephen George + Partners wins planning for flagship Metro skills centre
Stephen George + Partners, one of the UK’s leading architectural practices, has received planning permission for their £8million Metro Maintenance and Renewals Skills Centre in South Shields. This pivotal regeneration project, by Passenger Transport Executive Nexus, is a flagship development, promising to bring skills and new employment into the region.
Working with contractor Galliford Try Infrastructure, SGP developed a 33,500 sq ft single building option to accommodate a training centre and light maintenance facility, meeting the client’s budget whilst maintaining the facilities’ operational requirements. Architecturally the single building allows the development to be unified, with the training centre wrapping around the light maintenance area. Vertically stacking the accommodation allowed reception and break-out spaces to overlook the main entrance and kept classroom, meeting and engineering activities clearly split between floors.
“This is a key milestone, enabling the team to now focus on the construction stage of the Metro Skills and Renewals Centre”, explains Alistair Branch, Director at Stephen George + Partners. “SGP is pleased that with this decision and their continued support, Nexus and Galliford Try will realise the delivery of a facility that will maintain the future of the Metro fleet and train the drivers and engineers of tomorrow.“
The Metro Maintenance and Renewals Skills Centre will provide training for more than 1,000 people working on the Metro, including contractors involved in the £350m modernisation of the urban rail system used by 40 million passengers a year. The Centre will contain classrooms, meeting rooms, offices, staff room, canteen and changing facilities, an enclosed light maintenance area including train inspection pits, a platform and mock station. An external training track facility will be built to the west of the building.
Construction work is planned to commence late spring.