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Build & Sustainability

Work begins on ‘world-class’ Housing Innovation and Construction Skills Academy

A training base focused on nurturing the home builders of tomorrow has moved a step closer.

Work has started on The Housing Innovation and Construction Skills Academy (HICSA).

Bosses say the Sunderland-based endeavour will provide “next generation skills for next generation homes” by teaching students “to build, retrofit and create factory-built” properties.

The academy – which is being built by Brims Construction – will be overseen by Sunderland College with support from an advisory board that includes the George Clarke-led Ministry of Building Innovation and Education.

Ellen Thinnesen, chief executive of Education Partnership North East, which includes Sunderland College, said: “HICSA will provide a world-class industry gateway for a future pipeline of skilled construction workers.

 

  • The Housing Innovation and Construction Skills Academy will sit in the shadows of Sunderland AFC’s Stadium of Light

 

“Over the past year, technical specialists at Sunderland College have been designing HICSA’s future curriculum, which will equip students and trainees with modern skills for rewarding careers.”

Washington-born George said: “HICSA will be unlike any other training environment around, and it is right at the centre of an emerging community that will change the way people live.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, which is development lead on the project, added: “This is a brilliant example of partnership working to deliver a scheme that will see Sunderland build on its heritage as a city of makers.”

Once complete, HICSA will sit as part of the Riverside Sunderland scheme, which already includes City Hall and The Beam.

It will also feature an eye hospital, a multi-purpose cultural venue and a British Esports campus.