HETA digs deep to provide £5.5m engineering training centre

Work is under way on construction of a £5.5m engineering training centre which will play a key part in the drive to attract further investment into a transformational development site south of the Humber.

Hobson & Porter Business Development Director Joe Booth, Site Manager Ian Brown and Managing Director Richard Hunter. From HETA, Deputy Chief Executive Joanne Lawson, Chief Executive Iain Elliott and Chair Malcolm Joslin

Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA) is on course to open the new centre at Stallingborough in time to welcome 70 learners in August 2023.

Capacity will then increase gradually as new services are offered to meet the requirements of businesses already operating in the area and new arrivals at Pioneer Business Park, part of North East Lincolnshire Council’s £42m South Humber Industrial Investment Programme (SHIIP) project.

Joanne Lawson, Deputy Chief Executive of HETA, said: “Everything we do at HETA is led by employers – that’s always been our ethos. We develop new courses as and when they are requested and required. We are flexible, we can move quickly to put things in place and that’s what we are doing in Stallingborough.

“North East Lincolnshire Council know that the new training facilities will help to attract new companies into the area and we are working together to raise awareness of the new centre among businesses.”

The SHIIP project is regenerating a total of 189 hectares of land and HETA has acquired nearly three acres to build a two-storey centre which will provide facilities including workshops to enable individual training in fabrication and welding, machining, electrical and mechanical engineering.

There will be nine classrooms including two IT suites, informal learning and recreation spaces and a workshop viewing gallery.

Other features will include recreation and dining space and the building will benefit from sustainable drainage, eco-friendly landscaping and lighting and a low maintenance sustainable heating system with PV solar units on the roof.

The site will have parking for cars, bikes and motorbikes, all supported by new access roads.

HETA secured planning permission in September and Yorkshire and Lincolnshire-based construction company Hobson & Porter has recently commenced construction works on site. Hobson & Porter has a wealth of experience across the Humber region supporting skills in the energy and engineering sectors, including The Aura Innovation Centre in Hessle and Orsted’s East Coast Hub in Grimsby.

The company also worked on HETA’s Hull headquarters, which opened in 2018 after the £4.5m acquisition and conversion of a former factory. HETA also operates a training centre at Foxhills in Scunthorpe, which it opened in 2014. The business was founded in 1967 and currently has more than 500 apprentices on programme, working with 350 employers.

Ms Lawson said: “We brought in Hobson & Porter quickly and are making good progress. The steel frame will go up in December and we expect to have the roof on in mid-January. Completion is due for the end of June and we will have access from April onwards to start fitting out the workshops.

“The building will be habitable in July and we’ll then get the furniture into the classrooms and the IT installed ready for the learners when they arrive in August.

“The courses offered at our existing site in Stallingborough will move across to the new building which will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and will support training in new skills such as electrical vehicle charging and renewables. We have about 65 learners at the current site and the numbers will increase to meet the employment requirements of the businesses.”

Joe Booth, Business Development Director at Hobson & Porter, said: “We are delighted to be working again with HETA to deliver a flagship engineering training centre right in the heart of the Energy Estuary. We have a strong working relationship with HETA we are proud to deliver another valuable asset which will continue to deliver vital skills and training for local people and employers as the region continues to make its mark on the international stage.”

Cllr Philip Jackson, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “It’s great to see this development on site at Stallingborough – another milestone in the shaping of the business park. We’re committed to helping provide the best facilities for our young people to train for their future, helping to retain people and skills, and provide the best workforce we can for our future economy.”