Topping out ceremony marks milestone at Canal Parade

28 November 2014

Topping out ceremony marks milestone at CAVC Canal Parade

Welsh Government Minister for Finance and Government Business Jane Hutt AM today celebrated a traditional topping out ceremony at Cardiff and Vale College’s world-class new £45m Canal Parade campus.

Jane Hutt AM was joined by local AM Vaughan Gething, local  MP Stephen Doughty, Cardiff and Vale College Principal and Chief Executive Mike James, Deputy Principal Mark Roberts and the College’s Chair of Governors Geraint Evans. Rightacres Property Company Chief Executive Paul McCarthy and Ian Jones, Operations Director at Willmott Dixon, represented the site’s developers.

As part of the ceremony, Jane Hutt AM was presented with a commemorative oak plaque which had been made by CAVC Carpentry students and staff as part of Timber Thinkers – student-led company that makes sustainable wooden and slate gifts with profits going to veterans’ charities.

The 16,000m2 landmark new Canal Parade campus will feature top flight new facilities in the heart of Cardiff’s enterprise zone. Supported by a £20m grant from the Welsh Government, the £45m campus will open its doors to students and the community in September 2015.

Located just a five minute walk from Cardiff Central Station, the new development will provide an inspirational and sustainable learning facility where the College will focus on employability, progression and the highest standards of teaching. Features include a fine dining restaurant with views across the city, a dedicated Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre, performance theatre, recording studio, Apple design studio, community facilities and a commercial salon and spa.

Jane Hutt AM said: “I am delighted that the Welsh Government has been able to support this ambitious new development with a £20m investment.  This will be an exciting facility for learners, employers and communities."

CAVC Principal & Chief Executive Mike James added: “This is a momentous day for Cardiff and Vale College. Since the College was formed in 2011 we have voiced our commitment to a ten-year development plan to provide the best education and training facilities in Wales.

“Our new Canal Parade campus forms just one part of our plan to create sector-leading learning environments throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan and to watch it grow has been an inspiration. We are extremely grateful to the Welsh Government for recognising that the College needs to expand to provide more opportunities, and we look forward to continuing to extend and upgrade facilities throughout Cardiff and the Vale.”

Cardiff South and Penarth AM Vaughan Gething said: “I am delighted to be here to see the topping out ceremony at this fantastic new facility in the heart of my constituency. I look forward to seeing my constituents take up the opportunities offered by Cardiff and Vale College in the future.”

Stephen Doughty, MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be here at a crucial celebration in this building’s construction. It’s a marvellous facility and I am very pleased that it is in the heart of my constituency and will serve young people and the community for many years to come. I want to thank the College and construction team for engaging the local community and putting sustainability, local jobs and the economy at the heart of what they are doing.”

Hannah Sparks represented CAVC students at the ceremony. Eighteen –year-old Hannah from Cardiff is in her second year of A Levels at the College and is due to be interviewed for a place at Cambridge University next week.

“The topping out ceremony has been a really nice experience,” Hannah said. “It’s good to see how the new College building has come along and it’s great to see all of these people doing something rather than just opening the building – it’s a celebration involving all the people who were involved in putting it together.”

The new CAVC site has been development by Rightacres, working in partnership with Willmott Dixon. Rightacres Chief Executive Paul McCarthy said: “Getting the building to this stage is the result of a huge team effort. When complete, the new facility will serve communities across South Wales, providing invaluable services to their learners, employers and economies. It will also act as a catalyst to kick-start the regeneration of the Dumballs Road area.”

Neal Stephens, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to build this prestigious project for Rightacres, on behalf of Cardiff and Vale College. This is without doubt a landmark building for Cardiff and the Further Education sector that CAVC performs so well within.

“Our sustainability credentials as a business are reflected well with the design of the building, which has a target of BREEAM Excellent and together with probably the largest photovoltaic arrays in Wales, show our commitment to help reduce our clients’ carbon footprint and their resultant future energy costs.”