Coronavirus: Multi-million pound construction and engineering centre in Rainham delayed due to Covid-19

An architect's impression of what the Rainham campus will look like when the project is finished. Pi

An architect's impression of what the Rainham campus will look like when the project is finished. Picture: Havering Colleges - Credit: Havering Colleges

The completion of a multi-million pound construction and engineering centre in Rainham has been delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The building was due to be finished at Havering Colleges’ New Road site by autumn 2020 as part of a £15million redevelopment.

But the Recorder has seen a letter being sent to neighbours in which the college admits the completion date has been pushed back.

Principal Paul Wakeling said work began on the new building in February but now may not be completed by January 2021 “because of Covid-19”.

Mr Wakeling also wrote that a refurbishment of the existing campus building has been moved forward to be finished by early September.

He said: “We are doing all that we can to minimise the impact of this work on you, our neighbours, during this construction and refurbishment period but apologise for the inevitable disruption that there will be.

“No further teaching will now take place at the Rainham site until September 2020 at the earliest but there will inevitably be site traffic and there will of course be periods when noise is inevitable for which we apologise.”

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The new construction and engineering building will house a tunnelling and engineering training environment and the refurbishment of the current building includes upgrading equipment.

The college said in the letter that the project will ensure students are “equipped and qualified” to get jobs in the area.

It wrote: “The project at Rainham will result in the creation of a new state-of-the-art facility that will ensure that our students receive the very best specialist training to meet the demand for people with high level engineering and infrastructure skills.”

Funding for the project comes from New City College and the Greater London Authority.

A Havering Colleges spokesperson said: “The existing refurbished building will be used by students from the start of the next academic year.

“In light of the changes to teaching resulting from Covid-19 with a move to online and other distance learning, we were able to hand over the building earlier than anticipated .

“The new facility is due to be ready in February 2021, so the students will be able to use the new specialist facilities within the enlarged campus in the spring term.”