Planning has been approved and construction is now underway for a brand-new centre to further expand the offer of Health, Innovation and Digital Technologies at Bury College.

The inspiring £9 million development consists of a variety of innovative teaching and learning spaces for the delivery of Health, Social Care and Computing and Information Technology related courses, including the Government’s new Health and Digital T Levels. The new centre is jointly funded by Bury College, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) through the Local Growth Fund (LGF) and the Department for Education.

The College is delighted to have appointed local construction firm H.H. Smith & Sons Co. Ltd, a family run company based in Whitefield.

H.H. Smith & Sons Co. Ltd have been providing a high quality and innovative construction service since 1955, and in recent years have completed projects with the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), the Met Theatre, and Manchester Fire Station.

Rob Smith, Construction Director at H.H. Smith & Sons Co. Ltd said, “We are delighted to be part of such an important milestone for the College.  We have worked closely with Bury College for a number of years. Many of our former apprentices were trained through the college and will be working on this development.  We are also excited to offer college students the opportunity for essential work experience and industry placements.”

Excavation of the site is currently underway, shortly followed by essential ground work.  The 12-month project will see the first bricks being laid in March 2022, with expected completion in October of that year.

Lynsay Robinson, Senior Project Manager at construction and property consultancy Gardiner & Theobald LLP, said, “Gardiner & Theobald are thrilled to be involved in this project. The opportunities it will give to present and future students to progress into the world of Health, Social Care and Computing and Information Technology will be of upmost importance as we progress through the next few critical years after the pandemic. The team have worked really hard to achieve a building design that will allow the next generation to flourish and further complement Bury College’s ability to deliver key education within these essential sectors.

Andrew Harrison, Deputy Principal, Finance and Corporate Services said, “We are delighted that our vision of creating a brand new centre for learning in the heart of Bury has been supported, and we are pleased to be working with local construction company H.H. Smith & Sons Co Ltd on this innovative project.  The development will provide increased opportunities for individuals to study health, innovation and digital technologies from advanced through to degree level.  These are critical employment sectors across Bury and Greater Manchester and we are proud to be expanding our offer to fully embrace them further.

The GMCA contributed a £2.25 million LGF grant towards the £9 million project costs, LGF is granted to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and LEPs play a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country. The Greater Manchester LEP administers LGF in conjunction with GMCA. 

Councillor Andrew Western, GMCA lead for Digital, Work, Skills and Clean Air, said, “In Greater Manchester employers have informed us of the need for more skilled workers in the health and social care sector, as well as the city-region’s growing digital sector. This fantastic new development will help to fill the occupational skills gaps required to be filled, develop the skills system on offer in our city-region and provide new opportunities for future generations.”

Councillor Tariq Tamoor, Bury Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills said: “This is a very welcome investment in improving skills in the borough. It will be supporting the next generation of professionals in the key sectors of health and digital technologies. I’m delighted that such a centre will be at the heart of our borough, inspiring young people to gain skills.”