New centre for construction skills receives planning permission

A pioneering project in Gloucestershire set to support the development of future-skilled construction workers has received the green light after planning permission was granted by Forest of Dean District Council.

Spearheaded by local family construction business K W Bell Group, the approved designs will provide a state-of-the-art 980mConstruction Skills Accelerator Centre (CSAC) to inspire, train and connect people entering the construction industry. The new facility in Cinderford, will be a centre of excellence providing an innovative learning environment, which is interactive, digitally-advanced and safe for students, apprentices and tradespeople looking to upskill.

K W Bell Group will project manage the build, support the construction work, and undertake the day-to-day running of the Centre. Once complete, K W Bell will collaborate with Gloucestershire College and the University of Gloucestershire, with support from local employers and industry representatives including global giant JCB, to develop job-ready men and women, equipping them with knowledge and practical experience of the latest technological advances in sustainability and ‘digital construction’.

With plans to be open for use in late 2021, the Centre is set to deliver much-needed training in construction skills for up to 500 pupils a year, by its sixth year in business.

Nicola Bird is Managing Director of the CSAC and as Director at K W Bell she is the third-generation of the founding Bell family leading the business. “We’re very excited to begin construction on a project that’s developed for the industry, by the industry,” comments Nicola. “We’re striving to provide individuals 16 years and over with the crucial skills they require to successfully enter and operate within the industry.

“Now more than ever, construction is key to helping rebuild the economy during these difficult times, so knowing that we’ve been given the all-clear to offer training that develops long-term careers in construction is wonderful.”