The Beacon of Light is a new build project that will be constructed on land adjacent to the Sunderland Aquatics Centre. The Beacon of Light will be a multi-purpose building housing a range of provisions including sports halls, outdoor soccer pitches, flexible learning spaces, health and well-being and education zones together with an alternative provision school.
Sunderland City Council (‘the Authority’) is seeking to procure a Technology Partner to maximise opportunities from data and technology for both the Authority and the wider city. This builds on the Authority’s embedded approach of applying its assets alongside private sector investment and expertise.
Through this procurement, the Authority’s requirement is to secure delivery of key services, consolidate partnerships and create the conditions for innovation and growth that will help the city to prosper and thrive long into the future. This is an important step as the Authority evolves into an entirely different organisation by 2020.
The Authority’s five year savings requirement for 2015/2016 to 2019/2020 is anticipated to be in the region of £149m. The Authority continues to plan for these further significant reductions with the Authority’s focus firmly on Sunderland, the Community Leadership Council – sustaining public services by shifting from ‘doer’ to ‘facilitator’ and by creating new and innovative ways of delivering public services. What will remain really important to the Authority as a smaller, Community Leadership Council is commissioning services with a common commitment to public sector ethos and values for the benefit of the city and its residents.
The Authority sees three determinates to its future success – alternative models of public service delivery, a focus on commissioning for outcomes and a new capacity/capability for partnering and networking. It’s through the strength of the existing partnerships across the city that the great ambitions exist to radically change how resources from the public, private and voluntary and community sector are combined to create the best conditions for local people and local businesses to connect and succeed. Something that is expressed against three inter-connecting City Priorities:
Increasing economic growth and wealth within the city
Establishing prime conditions for enterprise and investment in the city – typically through digital infrastructure, intelligence and the labour market
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Improving the education and skills of local people so they are able to access opportunities
Providing an environment to grow the right education and skills aligning schools, study, education, jobs and training – ensuring local people are better connected with the opportunities
Improving the health of local people so they can engage proactively within their communities and are able to take advantage of the opportunities
Reducing the reliance on key health and social care based services by ensuring awareness, prevention and early intervention measures are delivering improved outcomes – enabling people to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing
The Authority sees the appointment of a Technology Partner as an important and smart next step in realising these City Priorities, ensuring Sunderland thrives in the digital age and in recognition of the strategic importance of data and technology, both in the delivery and transformation of public services and in the economic and social development of the region.
Sunderland City Council receives funding on an annual basis from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to deliver learning under its Adult Education Budget (AEB). This funding is managed by the FACL service area, which is looking to deliver its SFA contract by awarding grants to third party providers with specialisms in the following areas:
Community Learning which covers the following strands of provision:
Personal and Community Development Learning (PCDL)
Neighbourhood Learning in Deprived Communities (NLDC)
Family Learning covering the following strands of provision:
Wider Family Learning (WFL)
Maths and Language (FEML)
Accredited Learning which include the following levels of qualifications:
English, Maths and ICT provision, including functional skills
Foundation Learning (Entry level/Level 1 qualifications)
Level 3 (Note: changes to the funding rules mean that learners aged 19-23 will only be fully funded for their first, full Level 3 qualification, under the new legal entitlement rules. Only qualifications listed as fundable under the legal entitlement can be delivered.)
Through its Community Leadership role, Sunderland City Council aims to help support and sustain the viability of its Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) and social enterprises. The Council recognises that these Third Sector organisations can play a valuable role in engaging and supporting ‘hard to reach’ priority groups within Sunderland’s communities through the delivery of FACL courses. In light of this, FACL aims to award grants primarily to organisations that fit into this category, to maximise such engagement.
There is a real renaissance currently underway in Sunderland, which is apparent in both the arts and local culture, as well as in the automotive, manufacturing and digital technologies arena. Greater levels of investment are being encouraged through a number of city-led initiatives to transform Sunderland, such as the recently announced 3,6,9 Vision and the Economic Masterplan for the city.
Over the coming years, Sunderland will need to invest in the right education and training to drive innovative businesses within the region, creating more jobs for individuals who have the skills to meet that demand.
It is in this context that the University of Sunderland has identified the development of its Advanced Manufacturing proposition as an area for strategic investment.
The development of a new Centre for Advanced Manufacturing on the St Peter's Riverside site has been identified as the key physical investment to realise this vision, with a GIFA of 6 500 m2 and construction budget of 14 000 000 GBP exclusive of VAT but inclusive of client fit-out. The floor area and budget are both subject to review during Stage 2 of the project development.
This project currently aims to complete in September 2018 subject to programme changes following the Stage 2 consultations, with a start on site in spring 2017, though the completion date may be put back to January 2019. This should be confirmed at the end of Stage 2.
The University of Sunderland seeks to appoint an experienced Structural Engineer to support the development of the New Centre for Advanced Manufacture.