A significant step forward has been taken in the creation of a new University Technical College (UTC) for Portsmouth.

From a field of five applicants, the Education Funding Authority has appointed BAM Construction as the main contractor to complete the design and build the new £10m scheme.

Led by University of Portsmouth, the Royal Navy and Portsmouth City Council, UTC Portsmouth will accommodate 600 students aged between 14 and 19 (years 10 – 13), who will be able to take academic and vocational courses in science, technology, engineering and maths, alongside the regular national curriculum.

In addition, a wide range of enrichment activities such as AutoCad and Microsoft Office, leadership training, RYA Sailing, Young Engineer Challenges and Combined Cadet Forces, will help students to become ‘work-ready’ for employment.

The new building will be located on the Trafalgar School campus, Hilsea, and teaching facilities will include workshops, laboratories and ICT suites.

University of Portsmouth Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) Professor Paul Hayes said: “This is a significant milestone for the UTC Portsmouth.  This is an exciting project that will provide young people with strong career prospects while helping to tackle the skills shortage in the city and region. I’m pleased to be working with BAM Construction to bring us a big step closer to its opening in September 2017.”

"We’ve been extensively involved with developing a variety of education and other buildings on the South Coast. We’ve built up an excellent supply chain, and a great local knowledge. So we’re delighted to be appointed and look forward to bringing our customary positive attitude to creating UTC Portsmouth.

“BAM has now been appointed to build 20 UTC schemes. This is more than any other UK contractor. We believe our success reflects our ability to translate what our clients want and need within the constraints of their budgets.”

Darren Birch

BAM’s Framework manager

Lieutenant Commander Fiona Haynes, UTC Portsmouth Project Manager from the Royal Navy, said: “After months of preparations, it is very rewarding to make such a key appointment. We have been and will continue to develop the design with BAM and Stride Treglown architects over the coming weeks, to create a building to educate and enthuse the region’s talented scientists and engineers of the future.”

David Williams, Chief Executive of Portsmouth City Council, said: "We welcome the latest development in the plans to build and open a UTC in the city.  Creating a new school for Year 10 to 13 students is exciting: the academic and vocational courses they'll be able to take will give them great opportunities for future skilled employment."

BAM is now extensively engaged with the client and user groups to take the scheme from its concept and in just eight weeks, be in a position to seek planning permission by Christmas.

The company is working with architectural partner, Stride Treglown, to develop the design. Hydrock is providing mechanical and electrical consultancy and the structural engineer is Ridge & Partners.

Construction is due to start in June 2016 and finish late July 2017.