JCB Academy’s £1.2m Dove Apprenticeship Centre officially opened
July 2017 saw the official opening of the new Dove Apprenticeship Centre by The JCB Academy Trust. The new facility will support apprenticeship programmes delivered in association with employers including JCB, Michelin, Alpha Manufacturing/Bri-Stor Systems, Orbital Gas Systems and Continental.
Marking the opening, JCB apprentice manager Nigel Ward said: “The JCB Academy already delivers an excellent service in training apprentices, which will only be enhanced with the opening of the new purpose-designed centre.”
JCB Academy director of apprenticeship programmes Jim Bailey added: “The JCB Academy is delighted to be in a position to take the apprentice programme to the next level with the development of this fantastic facility.”
MOArchitecture has worked with the JCB Academy Trust throughout the design and construction progress, from initial feasibility studies and options appraisals through to detail design and completion of work on site. The project has seen a redundant former primary school, bought by JCB, refurbished, altered and extended to provide specialist teaching spaces for mechatronics, CAD, engineering science and metrology. Student refreshments and social spaces have also been created.
Set within a Conversation Area, a key aspect of the extension building was to reflect the strong local character in its design and refer to the character and detailing of the original 1913 schoolhouse. The solution adopts similar forms and scale, adopting traditional materials but providing a clear distinction between original and new.
Internally, the finishes reflect those of the JCB Academy main building and follow similar themes of expressing the old and the new, for example in the retention of a former gable façade now part of the new Social Space.
The project was funded by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).