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Bulldozing the past to help structure the future

Friday, 19 August 2016

The vision is starting to take shape at the UK’s flagship Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS) with demolition work commencing at the site of the ‘casting the future foundry spoke’ in Dudley Port, Tipton.

This site will house the foundry and patternmaking skills hub of the centre incorporating a purpose-built self-contained training block to be built adjacent to an existing foundry Thomas Dudley Ltd.

As work commences to get the site ready by demolishing an existing derelict building, ICME and the Cast Metals Federation continue their quest to ensure that appropriate facilities are installed and that the proposed training will be industry-led, supporting the needs of the UK’s foundry sector.

Martin Dudley, joint managing director of Thomas Dudley Ltd, said: “The start of construction work is an exciting landmark in the development of the Elite Centre. When complete, this unique facility will help to develop the foundry leaders of tomorrow, by focusing on the value-adding skills that provide British businesses with a huge-advantage over our foreign competitors.”

The ECMS is set to open for business in August 2017 at the University of Wolverhampton’s Springfield Campus.
The total project value is £12.19million, part funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal and the partners - the University of Wolverhampton, Dudley College, Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM), Cast Metals Federation (CMF) and the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers (ICME). Collectively the manufacturing hubs will provide specialist training in toolmaking, foundry, patternmaking, metalforming, forging, manufacturing management and leadership and project management.

The ‘toolmaking’ spoke will be principally located in West Bromwich under the guidance of the Confederation of British Metalforming. Metal joining and advanced machining training will be covered by the installation of new equipment and the use of existing equipment at the recently opened Dudley Advance at Dudley College.

For more on the ECMS visit: www.blackcountrylep.co.uk/people-skills/elite-centre