Energy Coast University Technical College

Energy Coast UTC is a new concept in education for 14 -19 year olds in West Cumbria which opened in September 2014. The academy combines traditional academic classroom-based learning with practical skills.

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The UTC specialises in energy and the curriculum has a strong emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), sustainability, clean technologies and construction.

Energy Coast UTC is passionate about preparing local young people for the job opportunities in energy related engineering and construction which underpin the development of West Cumbria as a centre for low carbon energy including nuclear, wind and solar power. The UTC will provide students with the technical skills that employers need and want; and qualifications and experience that will take them on their next step in life whether that is into employment, an apprenticeship or university.

The UTC is sponsored and supported by GEN II Training, Lakes College and the University of Cumbria. Students will also learn and work with key employers in the area.

The design creates a strong and confident identity for the UTC through building form; and branding through colour, materials and signage that is instantly recognisable and distinct.

Sustainability has been a fundamental driver for the architecture through tried and tested design principles of a well-insulated, air tight building that optimises natural light and ventilation to minimise energy demand for heating, cooling and illumination; while providing direct end user control. The building is designed to achieve an A-rated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

The architectural vision was to produce a building which feels professional and inspirational and which engenders a sense of entrepreneurship. This is achieved through a number of features including the unique building envelope, inspiring entrance and circulation spaces, visible independent learning areas and generous double height spaces, along with clear branding and graphics.

The new facility has been built on land next to Energus, a state of the art training and conference centre, in Lillyhall. This location means that students will be using some of the best facilities in the UK, including the engineering workshops of Energus and GEN II Training and the new Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre at Lakes College.

Client: Energy Coast UTC Trust

Location: Cumbria

Duration: 39 Weeks

Completion: August 2014

Value: £6.8m