10/04/2012 - Thomas Vale to refurbish iconic local landmark

Stourport-based contractor Thomas Vale has been appointed to deliver an exciting refurbishment and redevelopment of the iconic Piano Building, on Weavers Wharf in Kidderminster.


Birmingham Metropolitan College have joined forces with Kidderminster College to open the new academy which is aimed at providing education and training opportunities to young people to support local businesses across the area. The proposed curriculum will include computer games development, fashion design and retail, a Samsung Experience Academy, 3D animation and electronics. Food Preparation and hospitality courses will also be supported by on-site amenities including a cafeteria/bistro outlet.


Work on the 5 storey building, which has been part of the Kidderminster skyline for 145 years, is due to commence at the beginning of April. ‘The Academy at Kidderminster’, as it will be known, will open in September 2012 to deliver full time courses for up to 1,000 adult and sixth form learners.


Tony Hyde, Group Managing Director at Thomas Vale Construction added: “As a local contractor, we are extremely excited to be a part of such an amazing project for future generations of the region to come.


“The project lends itself to major training and development opportunities throughout the refurbishment programme; and we are looking forward to a long and continuing relationship with Birmingham Metropolitan College and Kidderminster College – ensuring localised procurement targets, economic and social sustainability.”


Principal and Chief Executive of Birmingham Metropolitan College, Dr Christine Braddock CBE commented: "We welcome the opportunity to work with a college that is as passionate as we are about providing relevant skills training for young people in vibrant learning spaces.

"The Academy will give learners access to unique learning opportunities that have not before been available to them locally. This in turn will enable them to play their part in maximising the economic potential of the Wyre Forest area, particularly in the enterprise, hospitality and catering sectors."

Andy Dobson, Principal and Chief Executive of Kidderminster College added: "This exciting new institution will use the shared expertise of both colleges while bringing a new creative and innovative curriculum to Kidderminster. The facilities will be truly outstanding and will provide a huge creative and cultural boost to the area, which will benefit students, the local community, new media entrepreneurs and local businesses." 


The Piano Building was originally built in 1867 as a warehousing unit for Brinton Carpets – where its name is derived from the roof shape seen from adjacent mills and chimneys. It resembles a grand piano by the virtue of the curve of its north wall. In February 2003, the building became listed and protected after a threat of demolition.