Construction skills academy wins planning approval

New centre at Meridian Water will offer training in construction for local young people, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Designs for the construction skills academy at Meridian Water (credit Enfield Council)
Designs for the construction skills academy at Meridian Water (credit Enfield Council)

Training to help residents secure jobs in the construction industry will be provided in a purpose-built academy at Meridian Water. 

The academy, which was granted permission during a meeting of the council’s planning committee on Tuesday, will teach skills that could help residents gain employment at the borough’s flagship redevelopment scheme, as well as other sites in the borough.

Focusing on construction and the built environment, the academy will offer practical learning as well as classes. Training will also be available in other subjects such as information technology.

The £6billion Meridian Water scheme is aiming to provide 10,000 homes and 6,000 jobs over a 25-year period. In May, the council granted permission for the construction of the first 300 homes at Meridian Water in a scheme dubbed ‘Meridian One’, where construction has now commenced.

Speaking during Tuesday’s meeting, Sharon Davidson, the council’s planning decisions manager, said: “The proposed development will occupy an otherwise-vacant site and will provide an educational facility that will be of benefit to the community and provide access to local opportunities on one of the borough’s largest regeneration projects.”

According to a council report, the skills academy will consist of three single-storey modular buildings providing “practical workshops for students as well high-quality designed classrooms and outdoor recreational space”. It will also feature “an extensive soft landscape and planting strategy which includes 25 new trees”, adding to the site’s biodiversity.

Sharon added that a visitor centre located within the building could be used by local schools to provide careers advice. After hearing her presentation, members of the committee voted unanimously to approve the scheme.