Britcon welcomes Chesterfield College construction students to One Waterside Place site

Chesterfield Waterside, Chesterfield Borough Council and Britcon (UK) Ltd have begun an eight-week activity partnership with Chesterfield College by welcoming its Level 3 Construction Management students on site.

The visit was held at One Waterside Place, the seven-storey Grade A office block currently under construction in the Basin Square neighbourhood of the Chesterfield Waterside development.

As part of the site visit students were given an insight in to the whole build process, focusing on safety, cost, quality and time.  

Britcon (UK) is the lead contractor on One Waterside Place. Nick Shepherd, Managing Director of Britcon (UK) Ltd and a former Chesterfield College construction student himself, said: "It was great to engage with a group of enthusiastic individuals and share some of our expertise with them on their journey within the construction industry. We are passionate about giving back to the community and this visit marks the first of an eight-week activity partnership that we have arranged with the college."

Terry Brickles, Curriculum Operations Manager for Construction at Chesterfield College said: “Our goal is to ensure students leave us well prepared for the world of work and for a positive future. Working with Britcon has helped us to give our students a fantastic opportunity to get a greater understanding of how the skills they have been developing in college fit into a construction project like Chesterfield Waterside.

“It is vital to develop construction students’ first-hand experience, knowledge, understanding and practical experience of life on a building site. Not only does it give them an opportunity to use the practical skills they have learnt in a classroom in a real environment, it develops other skills which help to make them good employees for the industry too.”  

Ahead of COVID restrictions easing, last year a camera was installed on the roof of Chesterfield College to record the entire build process of One Waterside Place. As part of the partnership between the College, Chesterfield Borough Council, Britcon and Chesterfield Waterside, the footage has been shared with students throughout lockdown as part of their virtual learning studies.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “Gaining industry experience is vital to helping ensure young people can meet their full potential and setting up the camera so they could do this digitally allows them to gain this experience remotely. It’s fantastic that Britcon and Waterside have made it possible for these students to visit the site. I hope this is the first of many visits because together with being able to access the camera footage, it really helps young people plan their future.”

Tom Swallow, Development Manager at Bolsterstone Group Plc, the company leading Chesterfield Waterside added: “I’m delighted that restrictions have eased sufficiently to enable us to welcome local schools and college students to site. Virtual learning has been very effective during lockdown but to be able to get onto site and see a project taking shape on the ground can be really inspiring.”

The seven-storey office block is the first phase of the Basin Square character area within the £340 million Chesterfield Waterside regeneration scheme and is being developed for Chesterfield Borough Council. Last month BHP Accountants in Chesterfield announced that it is to take a floor in the new office block and relocate its office on Saltergate in the town centre to Basin Square.

Construction of One Waterside Place is expected to be completed later this year. As part of the contract with Chesterfield Borough Council, Britcon is utilising local labour and local contractors across the whole build process as well as working closely with the college. This ensures that the construction phase of the project not only helps develop skills it also provides an economic benefit to the local economy which will help support recovery from the pandemic.

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