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The Guernsey Institute lines up architect appointment

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Thursday 11 February 2021

The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture is soon intending to award the architect contract for the development of The Guernsey Institute's unique post-16 facility.

Subject to final contractual agreements, the Committee is intending to award the contract to Design Engine Architects, who will be Lead Designer, and will be partnered with Guernsey architects Tyrrell Dowinton Associates, who will be providing support with their local knowledge and experience.

The Guernsey Institute's new build will house all three of its organisations; the Guernsey College of Further Education, the GTA University Centre, and the Institute of Health & Social Care Studies. Therefore, it will need to have a wide range of industry standard facilities, from workshops, to simulated health care suites to technology rich environments to lecture theatres.

Education Officers have worked closely with the States procurement team to ensure they have re-engineered the procurement approach with a long term goal of allowing local firms to start to compete with their UK counterparts in the 'relevant experience' categories. UK firms have more opportunity to gain experience with such large, complex and specialised capital projects and this procurement approach has looked to address this.

Going into the future, the goal is to ensure the States is supporting Guernsey PLC, and is less reliant on overseas firms.

The contract will also see Design Engine and Tyrrell Dowinton Associates give 208 weeks of apprenticeship and 48 hours of specialist training sessions will be made available for students of the Guernsey Institute and secondary schools without additional cost.

Paul Dowinton, one of Tyrrell Dowinton Associates' directors, said:

"Tyrrell Dowinton Associates are delighted by the prospect of being awarded this project, partnering with Design Engine. We will be working closely with their Winchester Studio from inception to completion of this project. We will be providing local architectural support and experience while benefiting from the wealth of experience that Design Engine have accumulated following the completion of a significant number of Further and Higher Education buildings throughout the UK and overseas. The combination of these skillsets will ensure that this new facility is delivered to the highest standards. This up-skilling, we believe, will equip Tyrrell Dowinton Associates to support The Guernsey Institute and the States of Guernsey in the future."

Jacki Hughes, Executive Principal of The Guernsey Institute, said:

"It is incredibly exciting to know we will soon have our architect appointed. As we have gone through the tender process we have seen some amazing ideas and concepts, and if we can bring even a fraction of that to life for our organisation, we will have something very special on our hands. Our brief is not a simple one though; we want to become a hub for the island's community; the go to place for learning, and when we say learning, we mean courses for school leavers, directors, technical and vocational apprenticeships, university accredited degrees, and courses for hobbies and pastimes."

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:

"The Committee is determined to press on with The Guernsey Institute, and part of that project is the delivery of a purpose-built, one of a kind facility, which caters to all of the island's vocational and technical needs. It is extremely encouraging that we have been able to appoint an architect that has a great deal of experience developing further education facilities, while also appointing a local firm with the knowledge of the island which will be needed to ensure this build fits the Bailiwick."

Deputy Neil Inder, President of the Committee for Economic Development, said:

"As a Committee, we recently committed to putting more public money back into the local economy. The new procurement approach our officers have taken is the first step on this road; as this project, and others in the future, will eventually allow local firms to compete on an equal footing with UK firms in terms of specific project experience. This revision will strike a better balance towards ensuring we can support local businesses while also accessing the right level of expertise and experience."

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