CITB site should be revamped to include 'science park or renewable energy centre' - MP
PUBLISHED: 16:33 16 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:40 16 November 2017
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The CITB must immediately reverse its ambition to relocate to Peterborough and should instead set its sights on modernising its Norfolk headquarters, says an MP.
Sir Henry Bellingham has raised the matter in private discussions with skills minister Anne Milton, and has also spoken to the business secretary Greg Clark and chancellor Philip Hammond.
“They were extremely sympathetic to my argument that it’s absolutely imperative that the HQ stays at Bircham,” he said.
“They completely get the argument that we need a masterplan for the site, and oversight of the new training provider, and we need the CITB to work with the community.”
He said the minister would call in the chief executive and chairman of the CITB to explain their reasoning for leaving Bircham.
READ MORE: CITB boss says move out of Norfolk is necessary to secure its future - and job loss details could come in new year
Describing Bircham as a “golden asset” for the CITB, he urged it to look at alternatives to a sale of the site, such as setting up a business or science park.
“If a new dynamic training provider moves on to the site and keeps the training modules and the different disciplines, that would be reakky good news, but there’s so much more that can be done. It could be a centre of excellence, opening up a small science park or a renewable energy centre - there are lots of things that could be done,” he said.
“They’ve not started to look at that. The CITB can be an enabler in this process: we don’t want it broken up piecemeal with developers cherry-picking the bits they want.”