Work on a £2.7 million youth training centre in Walsall town centre that is set to house the new Walsall Studio School has been completed.
Developers St Modwen and Goold Estates have handed over Goldmine, a contemporary 20,000 sq ft building in Lower Hall Lane, to operators The Vine Trust. It was constructed by Bespoke Construction Services.
The building boasts training rooms, a library, offices and multipurpose space for public performances that will initially be utilised by the Trust to provide training, learning, advice and guidance to young people in the local area.
The Walsall Studio School is set to open in 2013, providing 14-19 year olds with the opportunity to study GCSEs, A Levels and vocational projects while boosting their employability skills with paid weekly work placements.
Goldmine forms part of St Modwen and Goold Estates’ £90 million St Matthew’s Quarter regeneration scheme. The developers were due to begin building the centre on the historic Shannons Mill site in 2007 but the plans were delayed following a devastating fire. Undeterred, the partners devised new plans to deliver alternative premises in this prime new location.
Mark Watkins, development surveyor at the UK’s leading regeneration specialist St Modwen, said: “We are pleased to hand over this building on time. It is the next phase of the St Matthew’s Quarter regeneration scheme which will transform this part of Walsall into a vibrant learning, leisure and shopping destination.”
Dominic Goold, managing director of Goold Estates, said: “Goldmine provides young people with a much needed resource in Walsall town centre as well as a number of employment opportunities.”
Kevin Davis, chief executive of The Vine Trust, said: “This is a fantastic facility and we are very much looking forward to opening the Walsall Studio School, a new concept in education and designed for 14-19 year olds of all abilities. These small schools designed for 300 students look and feel more like a workplace than a school with a 9am-5pm working day and year-round opening. This unique approach to learning and working combines the benefits of academic study with the development of employability skills. “
Having outgrown its current premises on the corner of Lower Hall Lane and Caldmore Road, The Vine Trust sourced partners in the public, private and civil sector to help finance its new property.
These included Community Builders England, Walsall MBC, The Tudor Trust, Walsall Community Church, Garfield Weston and Walsall Housing Group.