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Gloucestershire Business News

Building the future - AccXel appoints new Steering Group

AccXel, the Construction Skills Accelerator Centre being built in Cinderford, Gloucestershire, has announced the appointment of a Steering Group to support the development of the pioneering project.

AccXel is a state-of-the-art 980m2 centre of excellence to inspire, train and connect people entering and advancing within the construction industry. With plans to be open for use in late 2021, the Centre is set to deliver much-needed training for up to 500 pupils a year, by its sixth year in business.

Working alongside AccXel's Founder and Managing Director, Nicola Bird, the Steering Group includes Natalie Bell, Business Growth and Partnership Manager at AccXel; Peter White, Business Development Manager at University of Gloucestershire; Lindsey Young, Chief Operating Officer at Clarkson Evans; Ben Ramsay, Managing Director at Barnwood Construction; Rob Jenkins, Careers Hub Manager at GFirst LEP; and Andy Bates, Chief Financial Officer at Gloucestershire College.

Together, the Steering Group will have responsibility for the development and overall function of the new centre, ensuring its financial stability and attainment of strategic goals throughout the build, to the moment it opens to learners and beyond.

Nicola Bird says: "To help us in our mission, we're proud to have brought together a great team of experienced people from some of the region's most forward-thinking construction companies and education providers. I'm excited to be working with all of them to bring AccXel to life."

Lindsey Young from Clarkson Evans says: "It's an honour to be involved in steering a project that's set to make such a positive difference to construction training, not just in Gloucestershire but possibly on a much broader scale. It's certainly an ambitious venture and I know lots of businesses in the sector will be keen to benefit from the new training centre. For young people, the project has the capacity to open doors to very rewarding long-term careers."

In September 2020, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick visited the site in Cinderford

Nicola Bird said at the time: "It was great to discuss with the minister our vision for the impacts we can achieve here once the centre is up and running.

"We have a unique opportunity to develop real and virtual learning environments that are designed by the industry, for the industry, inspiring a new generation while supporting those already in the construction industry to upskill."

The minister was accompanied by Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper and Sarah Danson, director of strategic growth at GFirst.

Mr Harper said: "I am proud to have KW Bell, who have been leading the way in the housebuilding sector and operating in the heart of the Forest of Dean for more 50 years, rightly benefiting from just under £2million of government support.

AccXel is co-funded by family construction firm K W Bell Group and backed by almost £2m from the Government's Getting Building Fund, awarded via Gloucestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership, GFirst LEP. Aiming to welcome its first learners through its doors in January 2022, K W Bell Group is working in collaboration with Gloucestershire College and the University of Gloucestershire, and with support from local employers in England and Wales and industry representatives including global giant JCB.

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