November 2, 2022 4.30 pm This story is over 17 months old

Work on £15m Newark Air and Space Institute has lift-off

Bosses hope it will open in September 2024

By Local Democracy Reporter

Dreams of a new state-of-the-art airspace training facility in Newark are beginning to become reality, as construction gets underway for the £15.4 million Lincoln College Group project.

Newark College, part of the Lincoln College Group, will open the UK’s first International Air and Space Training Institute, boosting the pathway training programme set up by Newark College, in conjunction with the air and space industry and the RAF, for future pilots and engineers.

The Air and Space Institute (ASI) will be built adjacent to the Newark and Sherwood District Council offices, on the historic former Cattle Market site.

The ASI will be built at the former Cattle Market site in Newark. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Work began on constructing the site on Tuesday. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

It was part of nine priority projects as part of the Newark Town Investment Plan, developed by the Newark Town Board to regenerate the town centre and boost internal business.

An official turf-cutting ceremony was held at the site of the project on Wednesday afternoon, and a quick programme of works will see an estimated opening date of early September 2024.

Despite the institute not yet being built, there have been two intakes of students at ASI Newark since the launch in 2021, as they develop skills and complete training – both in simulators and the ASI’s leased aircraft from Nottingham Aerodrome.

Lincoln College’s Director of the Air and Space Institute, Tom Marsden, told The Lincolnite that it was great to see a plan “two years in the making” coming to life.

It is expected to be a huge boost for both Newark’s education sector and its local economy. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

There are hopes for completion within 18 months. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

He said: “This new HQ for the Air and Space Institute will be an iconic landmark for Newark as people enter the town. It’s also hugely exciting for our current and future students, who’ll be training to be pilots and engineers in the civil and military aviation and space industries.

“This project represents the vision, drive and tenacity of our partners; the District Council, Newark Town Board, STEM architects, our main contractor G F Tomlinson and our aviation industry partners.

“ASI is putting Newark on the map in terms of education and training. Our students are already taking flying lessons and training on real aircraft.

“This new facility will be truly world-class and attract students from all over the UK. This brings investment, new resources and a huge boost to existing and emerging businesses in Newark.

“The benefit of working with G F Tomlinson as the main contractor is that they’ve been part of the full framework, it’s been a real collective endeavour.”

Part of the ASI’s educational curriculum will include the use of flight simulators, allowing budding pilots to learn the craft without having to leave the ground. The Lincolnite went to try out one of Newark College’s £40,000 simulators in January this year.

The Lincolnite reporter Ellis Karran inside the cockpit of the flight simulator at Newark College. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

A vast space for a new state-of-the-art educational facility. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Cllr Rhona Holloway, portfolio holder for economic development and visitors at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “It will be a landmark building and a gateway site that rejuvenates the area for years to come.

“It will bring a lot to the district and offer fantastic opportunities for younger people in the area. It started as an idea, a dream, and all the work done to get this far has been phenomenal.”

£10.6 million of the £15.4 million project will be contributed from the Towns Fund, and with the college already offering level 2 and 3 training, there are plans for a new university partner to help offer degree-level education in the future.

| Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Lincoln College Group

Vice Chairman of the project’s main funders and developers the Newark Town Board, Tom Cartledge, said the initial application for funding was based around developing the education sector in the town.

He said: “We identified nine projects of long term prosperity, and supported the Lincoln College Group on this ASI project.

“It’s a special moment that provides ambition for children who perhaps leave education unsure of their future – people now have a chance to find a career in an exciting industry right here in the town.”

To find out more about the Air and Space Institute, or to apply for a training role, visit the website.

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