Community benefits revealed for construction of Falkirk Campus

Community benefits revealed for construction of Falkirk Campus
Falkirk Campus

Forth Valley College’s new £78 million Falkirk Campus has not only provided the town with an impressive further education and training facility – but a bonus of benefits to the local community.

Balfour Beatty – who built the campus which opened its doors to students for the first time on Monday 13 January 2020 – have just released statistics and data detailing just how the three year construction project affected the local area for the better.

The added benefits to the community during the build overall, showed that at least £2.22 was generated in the local economy for every £1 spent by Balfour Beatty on the project and a total of £36, 773,974 was the local spend on the project, within a 40 mile radius of the Falkirk Campus.

Environmental concerns and benefits were also a top priority during the construction with 96% of waste generated from the build diverted from landfill and a total of 1,098 tonnes of waste recycled.

As far as educational opportunities for local school pupils were concerned the project was top of the class with:

  • 1,200 pupils given Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) experience
  • 12 Construction career events held
  • 20 3D virtual reality workshops organised for pupils
  • 42 S4 students participating in STEM competitions
  • 10 Balfour Beatty mentors created for school pupils

Employment opportunities were also on offer as the campus became a fixture in the Falkirk skyline with 173 weeks in total worked by apprentices, six graduates finding employment, 26 weeks of work experience organised, £2,500 worth of Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) cards for Polmont young offenders being generated and a total of 38 CSCS cards being offered to FVC students.

Dr Ken Thomson, Principal of Forth Valley College, said: “We are delighted that the community benefits created during the construction of the new Falkirk Campus have been so impressive, and they now compliment the fact that the building and our talented professional staff are now generating immense further educational benefits and results for the people and industry of Forth Valley.

“It was a pleasure to work with Balfour Beatty on this project and we can’t thank them enough for making local community benefits a priority during the build. Their hard work and commitment to improving the economy, employment and education of the local people of Falkirk and beyond has enabled us to enhance our mission to Make Learning Work for those seeking to progess with their education and employment prospects.”

Joseph Drugan, Balfour Beatty’s Community Benefits Advisor, said: “On the construction of Forth Valley College’s new Falkirk Campus, Balfour Beatty and our customer really collaborated to deliver not only a first-class learning space, but also a real social impact to the local area. This two-fold approach ensures a legacy of skills and employment for generations to come, which is aligned to Balfour Beatty’s group 2040 sustainability ambition to positively impact more than 1 million people.

“We share the Scottish Government’s approach to sustainable development, working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to deliver a fairer, healthier and more equal society. Our commitment on this project to supporting these goals saw the project; engage social enterprises, provide employment and training for local unemployed people, provide STEM learning for students and support a range of local community causes, detailed in our social impact report.

“We were able to achieve these outcomes by relentlessly collaborating with our customer, Forth Valley College, and a range of community stakeholders across the Forth Valley area; themselves committed to effecting positive change in their communities. This ‘one team’ approach enabled us to really pull our resources together to make a difference to the community and local economy, it was a genuine pleasure to work so well together and the reward for me, is seeing the positive social impact, which the new Falkirk Campus delivers for future generations.”

The new campus - which now serves as FVC’s headquarters - completes the college’s ambitious £128 million estates programme which saw their Alloa Campus (£21 million) opened in 2011 and their Stirling Campus (£29 million) opened a year later. The Scottish Government’s investment in the construction of the new campus, made the campus one of the largest publicly funded building projects in Scotland at that time.

Designed by architects Reiach and Hall the unique state-of-the-art facilities include, world class laboratories, a process training rig, transmission training centre, distillation plant, virtual control room, mini-rig, biotechnology centre, sports centre and front of house training salons for hairdressing and beauty.

The progressive approach to learning and teaching in the campus is enhanced by cutting edge classrooms, flexible spaces across the campus and highly advanced technology throughout. Other facilities include a first class learning resource centre, food outlets, conferencing and sports facilities.