Eastbourne hub to train construction workers given thumbs up

The Old Pump House, also called the Bedfordwell Pump House, Bedfordwell Road, Eastbourne. February 26th 2014 E08070Q SUS-140226-171958001
The Old Pump House, also called the Bedfordwell Pump House, Bedfordwell Road, Eastbourne. February 26th 2014 E08070Q SUS-140226-171958001

Proposals to create a training space for construction workers have been given the go ahead by Eastbourne planners.

On Tuesday (May 28), Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee unanimously approved an application to erect three temporary buildings at the former Bedfordwell Road Depot – a council-owned site which already has planning permission for the construction of up to 102 homes.

Before making its decision, the committee heard the temporary buildings will provide welfare facilities for the housing development and a tuition space for trainee construction workers.

Paul Metcalfe (Con, Sovereign) said: “I look at that site and think something needs to be done there fairly soon. It is starting to look quite a mess.

“Something like this on the site will be a great improvement, particularly as a training situation.

“I think any training facility that can be used will be a great asset to Eastbourne.”

Before making its decision, the committee heard the training course will be aimed at long-term unemployed adults and seeks to provide the skills needed to work in construction.  

Funding for the training course was awarded to East Sussex College by Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), following a bid supported by both Eastbourne and Lewes councils.

It is one of 26 schemes to be rolled out nationally.

The site would typically have between 8 – 12 students on site, planning documents say, but up to 30 students could be on site at one time if more specialised training is being held.

Another of the buildings will be used by local employment charity People Matter, providing a reception and hot desks for staff delivering information and advice to those involved in the project.

Committee chairman Jim Murray (Lib Dem, Hampden Park) said: “It is a very nice little project for us. CITB have got some funding that they are trying to give away to various groups and this has come from them.  

“The idea is to provide upfront training for new people to get them ready for work.

“It will provide them with CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) cards, safety training, preparing them for work, basic IT skills along with having a bit of site experience as well.

“It is a really good thing, very innovative for the area, so I am more than happy to propose this for approval.”