Leicester College, Engineering Block

Refurbishment of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering facilities at Leicester College.

Officially re-opened by the Deputy Mayor of Leicester City Council, the facility on the Abbey Park Campus in the city centre will enable the college to provide industry standard technical training to students and employers across the region.

Funded by Leicester College and the Department for Education, which provided more than £1 million for the project with its T level Capital Grant, the project involved the complete redesign of the facility’s internal space to make way for new and updated learning facilities to support the delivery of engineering T levels and other types of engineering qualifications.

Stepnell delivered the project in close collaboration with Moss Architecture to install new and upgrade existing infrastructure to new industry standard laboratories that will be used to teach students across specialist engineering disciplines, including electrical engineering, electronic engineering, pneumatic and hydraulics, programmable logic controllers (PLC) and robotics.

A new mechanical engineering workshop was constructed to accommodate industry-standard standard lathes and milling machines. A specialist hand skills development and projects area, welding booths and a state-of-the-art grinding room have also been integrated to enhance student’s hands-on learning experience.

The project included the installation of engineering laboratories and workshops to develop skills in robotics, programmable logic controllers, electronic circuits, electrical systems, mechanical systems, hydraulic and pneumatic systems together with a range of mills, lathes, grinders, rigs, testing equipment and simulators.

Tom Sewell, regional director at Stepnell, said:
“This is the third project we have undertaken for Leicester College with Moss Architecture. We have a key focus to continue developing lasting public sector client relations. We are thrilled to see the engineering and technology centre welcome students again. Our construction team worked closely with the college to understand the needs of aspiring engineers and to create the ideal facility to nurture their talent.”

Verity Hancock, Principal of Leicester College, said:
“I’m so excited about this huge refurbishment. Our hard-working engineering students and staff deserve the superb facilities and equipment that have been developed. The College is grateful to the Department for Education for their investment and to everyone – designers, architects and builders – who have made this happen.”

Ibrar Raja, Director of Engineering at Leicester College, added:
“With the introduction of T Levels and the transition to HTQs, the Higher Education offering for engineering students is undergoing a shift towards addressing future recruitment issues, and local and national skills gaps. The funding received has enabled us to invest in our infrastructure for students, ensuring that we can provide them with real pathways to progression within their chosen engineering sector and safeguarding the skillsets for future generations.”

This project supports the introduction of engineering T Level qualifications at Leicester College, with the Department for Education having provided more than £1 million towards the project cost from T-level capital grant funding.

The college aims to help meet the skills demand at higher technical levels regionally and nationally and provide a valid pathway to higher technical qualifications. It aims to support the forecasted 1.2% growth in engineering and electronic engineering occupations available in Leicestershire and Rutland by 2030.

During the works, Stepnell provided a range of employment skills initiatives to Leicester College, including work placements, employability workshops and interview skills.