Bauman Lyons, BWA and Creative Space Management were appointed to carry out an Options Appraisal and Feasibility Study into establishing a new Eco and Heritage Skills Centre in Kirkham.
There is heritage and ecological construction skills shortage and there are no training facilities for these in the North West. The proposal is to set up a regional skills centre in Hillside, a Grade II Listed building, as an anchor project within the recently secured HAZ regeneration strategy.
Old and new skills are needed to restore heritage buildings, retrofit all buildings for better energy efficiency and to build new places that meet the net carbon government targets by 2050. Our appraisal considered options for establishing a regional heritage and eco skills training centre of excellence in the listed building. The centre would provide apprenticeships with qualifications, short courses for people in the industry, do-it-yourself enthusiasts and self-builders, and it will develop online training too. All students will be learning their skills on live repair projects planned in the regeneration strategy for the High Street including Hillside itself. It is hoped that this will generate a new economic offer for the town.
We have developed a very flexible, staged approach to the project by suggesting developing the skills centre as a live repair project of a listed building that will eventually accommodate the training facilities. We have also proposed a new build eco construction in the extended garden area, which will provide both the opportunities for teaching ecological construction and also provide new accommodation to replace one in Hillside. This would allow for the rental of space to a third party to supplement skills centre income and ensure its future viability.