01 October 2021

Advanced Construction Skills Centre, Bristol

Project Details

Customer: City of Bristol College  

Value: £9m

Duration: 16 months

Completion Date: August 2021

Contract Type: JCT Design & Build 2016

Procurement Type: Design + Build

GIFA: 3506m2

Framework Agreement: SCF



  • Winner: ‘Development of the Year’, Insider South West Property Awards 2021
  • Winner: Levelling Up Champion Award
  • Winner: 'Civic Development', Bristol Property Awards 2021 
  • Targeted BREAAM Very Good
  • Employed 84.2% SMEs
  • Delivered an Employment and Skills Plan (ESP)


Project Summary

The Advanced Construction Skills Centre is a two-storey addition to the South Bristol Skills Academy; including 2,856sqm of new accommodation and 650sqm of refurbished space. Located at City of Bristol College’s (CoBC) Hengrove Park campus in the heart of South Bristol, it’s designed to develop the construction workforce of the future in an inspiring environment that reflects the modern world.

The project involved the design and build of a construction skills training centre, featuring individual workshops for trades. The second phase included the refurbishment and reconfiguration of an existing motor vehicle workshop and creation of a new masonry training facility.

The state-of-the-art facility boasts an outdoor civils yard, construction IT suite, workshops, and machinery – providing training that encompasses the latest developments in methods and technology - as well as an inspiring break-out space for students.

The structure is steel frame, incorporating a stunning mixture of cladding, glass, and masonry externally; with double-height entrance and motor vehicle training areas.



Midas completed a lengthy value engineering process to bring the project in line with budget.

Due to the busy location and the site’s close proximity to neighbours, Midas implemented a Construction Environmental Management Plan to manage risks; controlling light, noise and dust pollution.

With numerous services feeding adjacent areas in the vicinity, Midas completed sub-surface scanning with an external sonar scan and stat mapping to identify locations; compiling a robust utilities pack for subcontractors, and ensuring excavations took place under permits to dig.

Due to its proximity to two WW2 airfields, and the heavy bombing of Bristol, the site was in a high-risk category for unexploded ordinance (UXO). Whilst a UXO full report was commissioned in 2008, recommendations followed and nothing recovered, Midas commissioned the same company to carry out a watching brief during groundworks.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, materials shortages and EOTs, Midas delivered the project on time and on budget.


Social value:

The centre will significantly increase the number of apprenticeships the College delivers, creating circa 300 vacancies; and will partner with employers to deliver required skills, now and in the future. The facility will play an important role in helping the industry to Build Back Better, providing opportunities within a deprived area of the city, and a highly skilled workforce for employers across the South West.

Working to an ESP targets for job creation, waged training weeks, workforce qualifications and training plans for subcontractors were surpassed.



Sustainable and Low/Zero Carbon Technologies features include:

  • Roof-mounted PV array
  • Internal layout designed to maximise natural light
  • Installation of bat and bird boxes
  • Bicycle storage
  • 99.9% of non-hazardous waste diverted from landfill

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