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Progress on the proposal for a ground-breaking new Place and Making Institute in Bexley was revealed to Cabinet Members at their meeting last week (11 July).

The Institute will  offer  a world-class centre of excellence for learning related to the built environment and place making. Working closely with businesses, its development will  help to provide a workforce with the skills essential to delivering good growth, generating new learning and employment opportunities for local residents and people across the region in roles related to everything from civil engineering and construction to architecture and landscaping.

If the proposal is successful, the Place and Making Institute would be developed in complementary phases. Once complete the entire Institute would bring together learning providers across a single campus, delivering courses on a number of levels, from basic skills to post-graduate.

The proposals are being jointly progressed by a steering group that currently includes the London Borough of Bexley, Peabody and London South East Colleges. The formal launch of the proposals and creation of a wider partnership group to guide the project will take place in early autumn.

Bexley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth, Cllr Linda Bailey said; “Although we are still at the proposal stage, it was really exciting to hear about the progress of this brilliant project. If successful this institute would not only bring jobs, businesses and new residents to the borough, but will also provide an establishment that young people would travel from across the country to attend, putting Bexley on the map for construction and built environment learning. We have some way to go but, together with our partners, we are going to do all we can to make this happen.”

Peabody’s Executive Director for Thamesmead, John Lewis said: “The proposals for a world-leading construction college based in Thamesmead will help us to fulfil our ambition of establishing Thamesmead as London’s new town. Already home to more than 45,000 people, Thamesmead has the capacity for another 20,000 new homes and thousands of high value new jobs, complemented by a new leisure, cultural and commercial offer.”

Andrew Slade, Deputy Principal, London South East Colleges said: “We are delighted to be partnering on this innovative new institute. With the Mayor’s #LondonIsOpen Campaign and the Government’s Industrial Strategy post Brexit, there is an even greater need to ensure there is a pipeline of skilled professionals able to continue to support the development agenda in London inviting ongoing inward investment to our capital city. As a leading provider of construction and built environment related courses and apprenticeships, from entry through to degree level, LSEC is well placed to support this ground-breaking proposal going forwards. 

It is proposed that the Institute be built in Thamesmead and funded through public and private funding.