Shrewsbury Colleges Group is delighted to announce that a new bespoke Brick Workshop was officially unveiled on 1 March 2022. The facility at the college’s London Road Campus has been in use by students since November 2021 and had a VIP opening ceremony last week.
The new workshop, which cost around £150,000, was funded partly by the Radbrook Foundation, a charity that provides financial support for the education of students at Shrewsbury Colleges Group. The remainder of the funding was provided by the college.
At the opening ceremony, James Staniforth, Principal at Shrewsbury Colleges Group, said: “When I came to the college in 2017, I met Stuart Raine, who is our Head of Construction, and Richard Corbet, who is one of the members of our fantastic Brickwork team. They were incredibly enthusiastic about the work we were doing around Brickwork but pointed out that the facilities weren’t fantastic.”
The college staff have worked hard to improve the Brickwork facilities to the highest possible standard and to encourage more students to pursue careers in building in the process. Five years later, the Brickwork courses have seen growth in considerable numbers, allowing the local construction industry to meet workforce needs.
The Brick Workshop has helped contribute to the transformation of the course. Stuart Raine, Curriculum Leader for Construction and Trades, explained that: “The new workshop has enabled us to expand and enhance our capacity to deliver accessible and relevant learning in the key economic sector of brickwork for the region.”
He added: “We have been able to offer more students the training they need to get ahead in this high demand sector of the economy.”
Inside the new Brick Workshop facility.
This new facility marks the first time the Radbrook Foundation has invested in infrastructure at the college. Iain Gilmour, Chair of the Radbrook Foundation, said: “We were delighted to be able to support this project. The Foundation is all about investing in young people and giving them the education that will provide them with a job in the future, which will, in turn, contribute to the local economy. The development of the new Brick Workshop will certainly deliver on that aim.”
James Staniforth thanked the Radbrook Foundation for their support, saying: “We are very grateful to the Radbrook Foundation for supporting us financially to enable this much-needed expansion of our facilities for a key construction trade. This new facility will further enhance the construction trade facilities we already have, which will mean that we will be able to train more people and support local economic growth.”
Following the opening of the new Brick Workshop, the Radbrook Foundation made another contribution towards students’ education and presented two new minibuses to the college. As a rural college, these buses are an important resource that will further help to ensure that all SCG students can access a vast range of study trips and enrichment opportunities.
Members of the Radbrook Foundation standing beside the college's new minibuses.
To conclude the day’s events, members of the Foundation gathered to plant an oak tree near the Sports Field. The tree is part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, a nationwide tree-planting initiative created to mark the Platinum Jubilee this year. You can view the tree on the digital map of the Queen’s Green Canopy here.
The oak tree was planted by Claire Brentnall, Radbrook Foundation Trustee, who said she hoped that it would also serve as a long-lasting tribute to the Radbrook Foundation’s support of local education through their work with Shrewsbury Colleges Group.
Paul Partridge, SCG’s Finance Director, and Claire Brentnall, Radbrook Foundation Trustee, planting the oak tree.