HETA is to mark its golden anniversary by investing nearly £4 million in a new head office and workshop.
The company expects to move by Easter 2018 to premises in Dansom Lane South, Hull, which were previously occupied by the Eltherington Group.
Iain Elliott, Chief Executive of HETA, said the new home will provide the business with nearly 34,000 square feet of space to increase numbers of apprentices and adult learners and to improve services to employers.
He said: “We are embarking on this exciting project because we are committed to improving our services to employers and to our learners and to making a significant contribution to raising skills across the Humber region.
“The business has grown over the last 50 years and we need to be able to continue to offer different types of provision, such as renewables, in addition to traditional industry. We also offer higher education qualifications now and we are doing a lot more adult courses than we used to, upskilling people to meet the needs of employers across the region.”
HETA moved to its current, purpose-built site in Copenhagen Road, Hull, 1978. It also owns a centre at Foxhills, Scunthorpe, which opened in 2014 and it leases a third site at CATCH in Stallingborough.
Hull accommodates more than half of HETA’s 200 first-year apprentices, who make up a total of 650 working at the company’s centres and with employers, who now number 300.
Iain said: “Copenhagen Road is not big enough for what we want to do and the new site will give us twice as much space. Our priorities were size and the ability to convert the premises to meet our needs with relative ease.”
Dave Garness, Managing Director of Garness Jones, said: “It is a well-established industrial site and we identified it as a property which would be a great fit for HETA. We wish HETA every success in building on what is already a very successful business and hope the new premises deliver everything they need and expect.”
HETA has agreed an initial funding package with Santander Corporate & Commercial to seal the acquisition. Leading Humber law firm Bridge McFarland Solicitors acted for HETA.
Barry Haslam, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “Santander is delighted to support growing, ambitious companies like HETA, one of the region’s leading engineering training providers. We have a common shared focus on apprentice development and in key sectors like manufacturing, particularly given our own strategic tie up with the EEF.
“Additionally, through our highly rated Moneywise training programme, which we will be rolling out to HETA apprentices across the Humber, we hope to help educate young people in responsible financial management as they embark through their careers.”
Kate Seward of the Bridge McFarland commercial property team, said: “HETA has been synonymous with supplying high calibre apprentices to employers across the region for many years. In line with their growth it was important to not only find a suitable new head office, but that the handover was dealt with as efficiently as possible. Bridge McFarland were keen to complete the acquisition for HETA with minimum disruption to the business. I’ve been delighted to deliver this transaction for HETA and hope they will be happy in their new headquarters.”
Work will start this summer on refurbishment of the existing office and workshop space and construction of new classrooms, IT space and additional workshop areas as well as welfare facilities including a restaurant.
HETA’s vision is for the new centre to be used by external stakeholders such as schools who want to deliver engineering provision and who lack the facilities. It will also be made available to businesses which need workshop space for such jobs as product development, small batch production and rapid prototyping.
Iain added: “The project will cost around £3.9 million for the acquisition and the refurbishment and we are in discussions with contractors now.
“The UK needs to recruit more engineers and the Humber region is no exception to that. We have been training them for more than 50 years and we have a successful model that gives young people the technical skills that they need and that gets them ready for the world of work. The new site will provide a much more enhanced and realistic workplace environment.”