28 September 2020

Midas celebrates topping out of new state-of-the-art technology building

Midas Construction and Truro and Penwith College have celebrated a major milestone in an exciting project to build a new specialist technology facility at the Ofsted outstanding-rated college.

The topping out ceremony, a celebration of the highest point of construction, saw the ceremonial fixing of the final roofing sheets to the steel frame at the £7 million project at the college’s main Truro campus.

The new Valency Building will be part of the South West Institute of Technology (SWIOT), with more than 1,200m2 of space over two floors playing host to facilities matching the best in the UK for training students from across the region in technical subjects.

Midas Construction, part of the Midas Group, marked the topping out with staff and partners from Truro & Penwith College, taking a scissor lift to reach the roof of the new building.

Mike Borkowski, Business Development Director at Midas Construction, said: “There is a fantastic partnership behind the SWIOT and the development of this impressive new facility and as a Cornwall-based business we are very proud to be involved in such a strategically important skills project.

“Given the challenges of recent months, it is particularly pleasing to have marked such a significant stage in the construction of the Valency Building. We very much look forward to the next phase of the project and to the delivery by Midas of yet another high-profile scheme creating modern, innovative teaching spaces for Cornwall."

The SWIOT is one of 12 twelve new institutes of technology (IOTs) planned by government to equip the British workforce with required skills across key sectors. SWIOT consists of five major FE colleges in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset working in collaboration with the University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth delivering higher technical skills across the region.

The Valency Building will feature electronic and digital laboratories, engineering workshops, specialist welding facilities, a variety of industry standard, computer controlled (CNC) machinery and shared learning spaces.

Qualifications will include higher-level Certificates, Diplomas and brand-new Higher Level Apprenticeships, all drawing on expertise from a group of 'anchor employers' and key regional and Cornwall-based businesses with investment from the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) for the Heart of the South West and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Truro and Penwith College’s Chair of Governors Bob Crossland said: “I was delighted to help celebrate the topping-out of such an important educational facility for Cornwall on behalf of the governors at Truro and Penwith College. The South West Institute of Technology, in partnership with the growing group of engineering and digital businesses in Cornwall, will help meet the local higher skills needs for these important industries, offering well paid careers and making a valuable contribution to local economic growth.”

Martin Tucker, Principal of Truro and Penwith College, added: “Everyone at Truro and Penwith College is extremely proud to have reached this milestone in the development of what will become an iconic feature in the delivery of next-level skills and education for Cornwall and the South West. The partnership with Midas has been a very successful one and we cannot wait to start welcoming the first students into the Valency building as soon as construction is complete in the new year.”

The Midas Group delivers projects across a range of sectors including; education, residential and commercial developments throughout the South West, southern England, the Midlands and Wales.

The company’s strategy is to be the contractor of choice in the areas in which it operates, by the development of long-term relationships through delivery of its vision to be ‘leaders in customer service and performance’. It is a strategy which is showing success with more than 80% of the Group’s projects being carried out on a repeat business basis.

Pictured at the topping out are (L-R) Mark Jones (Operational Manager for Midas Construction); Bob Crossland (Chair of Truro & Penwith College Corporation), Martin Tucker (Truro & Penwith College Principal), Andy Stittle (Truro & Penwith College Head of Partnerships)

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