Bid to keep jobs at Bircham Newton


Talks to take place next month to find a way to keep jobs and construction training at the facility.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is sitting down with local politicians and industry bosses in Norfolk next month to discuss the future of its Bircham Newton training centre.

The meeting will predominantly focus on saving jobs at the site and will be chaired by King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council.

Attendees will include Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Saul Humphrey, director at Morgan Sindall and chairman of the LEP’s Building Growth board, and local MP, Sir Henry Bellingham. College leaders, along with representatives from Norfolk County Council and Jobcentre Plus will also join the meeting.

It follows the CITB announcement back in November last year that Bircham Newton was to close after the training body laid out plans to streamline its business operations as part of a major shake-up.

Brian Long, leader of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council, said: “We appreciate the reasoning behind CITB’s proposed move away from direct training, which is why we’re keen to maximise the potential opportunities for new partners at the site. We’re pleased to be hosting this session with the aim of creating a Vision 2020 Taskforce to ensure that all ideas and solutions are geared towards a positive outcome for the future of the site.

CITB chief executive Sarah Beale said: “The industry has been absolutely clear the CITB must reform but we also care very much about the communities and individuals affected by our change programme. We are pleased to be working with key stakeholders to find the best possible future for our Bircham Newton site.

“When we consulted recently with colleagues at the borough council, I found it particularly heartening to be met with open, responsive and positive attitudes towards our suggestions. The site has huge potential and, working together, we stand the best chance of maximising its benefit for both West Norfolk and the construction industry.”