Posted on: Tuesday 5 May 2020
Coleg Gwent, Torfaen Council and the contractor Interserve Construction are developing thorough contingency plans should the opening of the Torfaen Learning Zone be delayed due to the ongoing outbreak of Covid-19.
Although progress had been ahead of schedule, Interserve Construction, who have continued working throughout the outbreak have had to deal with several issues, including social distancing guidelines that have restricted numbers on site and changed working practices as well as the reduced delivery of materials due to the furloughing of staff in the supply chain.
Coleg Gwent’s Principal, Guy Lacey said: “We monitor daily the ongoing construction of the Torfaen Learning Zone. Work continues to take place but due to social distancing measures, contractors are working at a reduced capacity and it is possible that deadline for the new academic year will not be met. Given the circumstances, it is unfortunate but understandable, that progress has slowed and we recognise the disruption this is having on our plans and the potential worry this may cause learners.
“I want to assure our future learners that should we need to delay the opening of the TLZ, we are prepared. We have been working hard with partners over the past few weeks to develop a contingency plan that will ensure our learners and staff can start the new academic year on time.
“Our Pontypool Campus remains fully operational and can be kept open as long as necessary. While Pontypool may not have all of the wonderful resources that the new learning zone will provide, we are continuing to plan for this eventuality and we will keep prospective students and staff informed of how construction and the plans for Pontypool develop.”
Councillor Anthony Hunt, the Leader of Torfaen Council said: “COVID-19 is having a significant impact on all aspects of our daily operations. As yet, we're not entirely sure what the impact of lockdown and the timescales for recovery from Covid will have on the Torfaen Learning Zone. The site is still making progress and Interserve Construction is pressing on and working flat out with the resources they have while complying with social distancing, but we will monitor the situation closely and keep everyone informed on progress.”
Carl Read, Divisional Director for Interserve South Wales, said: “ Interserve Construction continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the successful delivery of this prestigious Project, ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its employees and supply chain are paramount at all times under the current COVID 19 pandemic. Whilst it was inevitable that Covid 19 would affect programme, we continue to manage the Project as efficiently as possible under the current circumstances and will look to mitigate delays wherever possible.”
For further information on the Torfaen Learning Zone and some frequently asked question visit www.coleggwent.ac.uk/torfaen-faqs