Located in the county of Tyne & Wear, North East England, Sunderland is set to kick off the development of a ground-breaking housing and construction skills academy in Sunderland, backed by TV architect George Clarke, are beginning to take shape.
The £15million Housing Innovation and Construction Skills Academy (HICSA) will be pitted at the heart of Riverside Sunderland, one of the UK’s most ambitious regeneration projects, and will play a key role in plugging the North East’s gaping skills gap.
The housing and construction skills academy will form a key part of Sunderland’s ambitious city centre housing ecosystem, enabling local people to meet the city’s future housing needs, with the skill and expertise to employ modern methods of construction (MMC).
Sunderland City Council, Education Partnership North East and the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE) – founded by George Clarke – have worked together to develop the plans for the housing and construction skills academy which went to planning last month.
When completed, it is hoped that HICSA will support the development of hundreds of eco-friendly homes planned for Riverside Sunderland and the city centre. The planning application follows the Government’s
Levelling Up Fund (LUF) announcement as part of the last Autumn Budget, which committed £20m to support the city’s housing ecosystem, including £9m of support for HICSA.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland is a transforming city, and part of that picture is the development of high-quality sustainable homes. I have an ambition that the activity we drive as a council is geared towards creating jobs and opportunities for local people, and through HICSA, we’re absolutely doing that, ensuring it is local people who will have the skills and expertise to build the homes of the future. This is true partnership and true innovation.”
The facility will enable Sunderland to build the skills-base to upgrade the city’s homes locally, using MMC, low carbon, renewable energy and smart technology. The housing and construction skills academy will position Sunderland at the heart of the UK’s net zero ambitions, enabling the city to capitalise on the move towards modern methods of construction and sustainable house-building while helping Sunderland realise its Smart City and Net-Zero Carbon ambitions.