News & Insights

Morgan Sindall wins £10 million specialist college project in Newham

Morgan Sindall has won a £10 million design and build contract to open a ground-breaking university technical college (UTC) in Newham, London.

The London Design and Engineering UTC will be based in East Ham and is one of a new breed of government-funded colleges which combine traditional GCSEs and A Levels with specialist technical vocational qualifications. It will offer a curriculum focused on all types of engineering and construction and is designed to lead to apprenticeships through employer sponsors. Led by Thames Water, the consortium responsible for the initiative involves a number of other potential employers, and is supported by Newham Borough Council, the University of East London (UEL), Alpha Building Services Engineering Ltd. and the Diocese of Chelmsford.

A key focus will be providing students with technical training that enables them to take advantage of a number of career paths, including apprenticeships and jobs with Thames Water and its supply chain, as well as further education at the university.

The college will be based, in part, within a Grade II listed former police station, which the Morgan Sindall project team will refurbish and convert into a mix of administration facilities and learning spaces. The existing eight storey Section House will be demolished before constructing a new 4,670 square metre learning facility on the site. Built to accommodate 600 students, it will feature state-of-the-art fully-equipped technical workshops, laboratories, design zones and learning bases, as well as communal areas and break-out rooms. The college will also provide additional facilities for 150 part-time apprentices in the form of a dedicated on-site apprentice centre.

Helen Newman, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Thames Water and chair of the UTC Steering Group, said: “We are delighted to see progress on this project. Morgan Sindall was selected to undertake the design and construction work on the strength of their proposals for the site, which is not without its difficulties. We look forward to seeing those proposals come to fruition.”

Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, said: “I am looking forward immensely to the opening of the new University Technical College in East Ham. London Design and Engineering UTC will have a great building, and offer superb opportunities to young people who are aiming high in fast-growing sectors of London’s economy. The College will be a boon to the area.”

University Technical Colleges work with universities and future employers, who sponsor colleges and help to shape the teaching and learning students receive. The University of East London sponsorship is focused on its School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, while Thames Water is a significant employer in the area and is looking to address the potential for future skills shortages in its workforce by investing in skills training locally. The company employs over one thousand people in the area.

One of the key areas of focus for the college will be to encourage young women to enter the engineering industry. Local apprenticeship provider Alpha Building Services Engineering Ltd will also play a significant part in the delivery of technical courses within the UTC.

Morgan Sindall will be focusing on employing local people and companies to assist in the construction, in addition to targeting the employment of apprentices during the project.

Tony Dixon, Morgan Sindall’s Managing Director for Construction London and South East, said: “We already have a number of projects on the ground in this part of London and the UTC scheme will provide us with further opportunities to employ people from the area, including apprentices. We have an excellent reputation in the education sector and look forward to providing the same standard of service that has resulted in high levels of satisfaction for our existing customers.”

The development is expected to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) rating of Very Good and work is expected to complete on the project in the winter of 2015. The project team includes architects, Scott Brown Rigg; Structural Engineers, Campbell Reith; M&E Engineers, Chapman BDSP; and technical advisor, Mott MacDonald.

Morgan Sindall is currently on site at a number of projects across London. The company is expanding and upgrading nine schools for the London Borough of Newham. The projects, worth approximately £25 million, will create an additional 2,115 pupil places for the borough in time for the 2014-15 academic year. The projects were won through the iESE framework.

The London Design and Engineering UTC was procured for the EFA through the LHC Schools and Community Services (SCB1) framework arrangement. LHC is a specialist not-for-profit public sector purchasing consortium that provides best value, compliant and sustainable procurement solutions for the refurbishment, retrofit and maintenance of schools, colleges and other public sector buildings in England, Wales and Scotland.


For more information about this news release please contact Ruth Cobban at Paver Smith on 0151 239 5000 or email