Stephen George + Partners wins pivotal Metro training centre project

Stephen George + Partners, one of the UK’s leading architectural practices, has won the design for the £8million Metro Maintenance and Renewals Skills Centre in South Shields for client Nexus. A key regeneration project which promises to bring skills and new employment into the region, SGP’s design for a single three storey building will accommodate a training centre and light maintenance facility.

Working with contractor Galliford Try Infrastructure, SGP developed a 33,500 sq ft single building option to meet the client’s budget, whilst maintaining the facilities’ operational requirements. Architecturally the single building allows the development to be unified, with the training centre wrapping around the light maintenance area. Vertically stacking the accommodation allowed reception and break-out spaces to overlook the main entrance and kept classroom, meeting and engineering activities clearly split between floors.

The single building option created efficiencies in design, optimising the requirements for foundations, structure, stairs, lifts, and site clearance, whilst operationally, the management of a single building rather than two offers the client operational cost savings.

“This is a flagship project in the region as well as for SGP’s developing Transport Sector portfolio,” explains Alistair Branch, Director at Stephen George + Partners.”The existing maintenance is currently done outside the region and this training centre will allow the skilled work engendered by the significant investment in the Metro network to come back into the area.”

The Metro Maintenance and Renewals Skills Centre will provide training for more than 1,000 people working on the Metro, including contractors involved in the £350m modernisation of the urban rail system used by 40 million passengers a year. The Centre will contains classrooms, a lecture room, meeting rooms, a mock control room, offices, staff room, canteen and a changing room with showers, covered tracks and inspection pits, a platform, lobby and barriers. An external training track facility will be built to the west of the building.