Willmott Dixon has secured a £6.8 million contract to build a home for The Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy (BTE Academy), the first University Technical College (UTC) in the South West.

The BTE Academy will specialise in Engineering and Environmental Technology and provide facilities for 440 students from Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North East Somerset.

University Technical Colleges are a recent concept in education, offering 14-19 year-olds the opportunity to take full-time technically-oriented courses of study alongside national curriculum requirements, business skills and ICT.

They are sponsored by a university and supported by local and national employers, with the BTE Academy supported by both City of Bristol College and the University of the West of England. It has employer links with Rolls Royce, Airbus and GKN.

Willmott Dixon’s role will involve the demolition of the old Filton High School in Stoke Gifford, Bristol, and constructing the new UTC. The building will house large workshop areas needed for increased levels of vocational project work as well as smaller classrooms, laboratory areas and indoor sports facilities. Externally, there will be a multi-use sports area and parkland where ecological studies can be undertaken.

Willmott Dixon will also install 200 square meters of photovoltaic panelling to boost the energy efficiency of the building.

BTE Academy Principal Rhian Priest commented: “The BTE Academy is part of a new style of education that will offer industry related teaching, a direct link to top employers and a unique type of learning. All of this will be housed in a brand new building which is sure to inspire and engage students.”

John Boughton, operations director of Willmott Dixon in the South West, said: “We are very excited to be involved in the establishment of the South West’s first university technical college, which will prove a significant boost to the already fantastic educational provision in Bristol. This will also help develop the city’s existing reputation in advanced engineering and sustainable technologies, while boosting employment opportunities in these burgeoning vocational sectors.

“In addition, the development itself will open up local job opportunities and provide a boost to the local economy through our use of locally sourced materials and local subcontractors.”

Willmott Dixon secured this contract through the Scape framework, which is at the forefront of driving down public sector building procurement costs. Scape can be used by any public body in England, Scotland and Wales and eliminates the need for Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) tender processes, speeds up procurement by 6-12 months, and cuts out waste and duplication to enable projects to reach completion quicker than normal.

The academy is due to open on 2 September 2013, with work finishing for the start of the 2013 term.