Stoke-on-Trent is set be the key player in the future of refurbishing homes to 21st century standards.
The Centre of Refurbishing Excellence in Longton was opened today with a round of speeches from senior figures from Stoke-on-Trent and the government.
“Three quarters of the homes that will stand in 2050 are already built” said Andrew Stunell MP, junior minister from the Department of Communities and Local Government. The CoRE will be a hub for training the next generation of home improvers.
The CoRE is a venture sponsored chiefly by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Stoke-on-Trent College and the Building Research Establishment (a construction industry organisation).
Hundreds of existing workers will join new students in January to develop skills in the trade.
There were positive whispers at the event noting that CoRE will put Stoke-on-Trent on the map not only nationally, but across Europe.
Next door, a conference centre is being built around historic bottle kilns which will host business events, product launches and organisation conferences, due for completion in Autumn 2012.
Speakers were (in order):
Peter Bounds (Chair of CoRE)
Cllr Ruth Rosenau (Cabinet Member for Regeneration)
Don Leiper (Director of New Business at E.ON)
Cllr Mohammed Pervez (Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council)
Andrew Stunell OBE MP (Junior Communities and Local Government Minister)
Present also were Rob Flello MP, John van der Laarschot (Stoke-on-Trent City Council Chief Executive), Cllr Paul Shotton (Deputy council leader) and Cllr Gwen Hassall (cabinet member for housing and neighbourhoods).