Foundations Live 2017 is a great success

REDUCED SIZE whole venue

The region’s biggest co-located construction trade and careers event, Foundations Live, returned to Bishop Burton College on Thursday 21st September after a successful launch in 2016.

Hobson & Porter created the Foundations programme to address the skills gap in the industry and help to build a sustainable workforce in our region. Foundations Live – a collaboration between construction firm Hobson & Porter, Jewson and Bishop Burton College – brings that concept into a live event space.

Demand from exhibitors saw the event move from Bishop Burton College’s Technology and Skills Centre, last year’s venue, to the much larger equine arena. Over 50 trades were organised in the sequence of a typical construction project, from architects through to suppliers of paint and landscaping services. More than 500 students visited from schools and colleges across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, from primary school pupils to adult re-trainers.

This year, Hobson & Porter was proud to be partnered by CITB (the Construction Industry Training Board), whose involvement gave both students and employers vital guidance and information on the wealth of career opportunities available in the construction industry, as well as the potential funding options. A number of other training providers, ranging from Humber Training to HABS (Humber Apprenticeship Brokerage Service), also had stands in the arena, completing the careers picture in our region.

Local primary school pupils, whose visit was organised through Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University, took part in a bricklaying taster course and enjoyed a visit to the extensive animal welfare facilities at Bishop Burton College – another great advantage of the venue. At the end of the exhibition, students received a free goody bag containing give-aways from the various exhibitors.

All exhibitors had the opportunity to break away from the arena and go upstairs for refreshments, with apprenticeship surgeries being held by CITB regularly throughout the day.

Positive messages were posted on social media throughout the day and afterwards by many different participants:

  • HEY Children’s Uni‏: Having a great day at @BishopBurton @hobsonporter #FoundationsLive Lots of learning for children and networking opportunities for us!
  • Rooted in Hull:‏ #foundationlive2017 @rootedinhull @hobsonporter Exciting times!
  • Bishop Burton: It’s wonderful to welcome students from across the region to @BishopBurtonEquineArena for @hobsonporter #FoundationsLive today! It was a fantastic event, thank you!
  • Pittaway Painting & Decorators: Great event to get the next generation interested in construction. Well done Hobson & Porter.
  • Ings Primary: Big thanks to @ChildrensUni for organising this trip for us @BishopBurtonEquineArena
  • Sirius Academy: A great event, brilliantly organised. The Year 10 students from Sirius North and West thoroughly enjoyed it and got a great deal of useful careers information.
  • Selby College: Brilliant time yesterday, good to see you H&P again, hope to get something going at Selby College next March if possible. Regards, Phil.

Third project completed for Humberside Fire & Rescue Service


Bransholme Fire Station, Hobson & Porter’s third project for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in the last two years, was completed this summer. The Minor Works team began the process of upgrading the station’s internal facilities in November 2016, with a refurbishment contract including fitting a new boiler room, gymnasium, welfare pods, appliance bay, dormitories and shower facilities, and refurbishing the existing kitchen.

The main challenge for the Hobson & Porter team was to keep the station running smoothly while all work was done. This included keeping everything immaculate throughout – a way of working which is familiar to Hobson & Porter, as one of only just over 60 companies in the UK with membership of the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS). In fact, a CCS audit gave Hobson & Porter a total mark of 38/50, with 8/10 scored for ‘Appearance’ and ‘Respect the Community’.

Through Hobson & Porter’s existing relationship with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, the site team, under the direction of Project Manager Paul McKenzie, was able to suggest a number of further improvements to the station to make the day-to-day experience of firefighters even better. These included:

  • transforming the upstairs area, which has a brand-new kitchen, meeting room, TV area and IT space;
  • installing air conditioning in the gymnasium, and lowering the ceiling to make the maintenance and upgrading of mechanical and electrical assets easier; and
  • installing over 30 new doors throughout the inside of the station, rather than the 10 originally scoped. Key fobs were issued to all fire staff to enable access through all doors, enhancing security.

The station was handed over on 20th July 2017.

Completion of Priory Primary School and Children’s Centre

During the summer of 2017, Hobson & Porter handed over a major project to extend and refurbish Priory Primary School and improve Priory Children’s Centre for Hull City Council. It represents one of 14 schools worked on this year by Hobson & Porter, with each being complete in time for the 2017/18 academic year.

At Priory Primary School, Hobson & Porter created a refurbished junior building to accommodate a greater intake of pupils. Infants now occupy the existing school building, which was previously for both juniors and infants. Works included re-roofing and rendering a substantial part of the building, creating a new entrance and enclosed playground to the front of the school, plus a host of interior construction and refurbishment works to create new classrooms, toilets and cloakrooms to both levels, a new canteen as well as a linking corridor between the canteen and the school.

In the adjoining children’s centre, Hobson & Porter created a remodelled entrance and provided new meeting rooms to both floors, new toilets for staff and children, new kitchens, a new lift shaft and new décor throughout. Outside, at the back of the children’s centre, the play area was landscaped and fenced.

Hobson & Porter also widened the service road leading to the school and children’s centre, and created a car park using a permeable reinforced surface, allowing grass to grow and drainage to occur naturally through the soil. This is both environmentally-friendly and aesthetically preferable to a standard concrete surface.

From the outset, this project was characterised by strict time pressures. As a result, the team at Hobson & Porter (and all sub-contractors) worked flat out, including extra weekends and evenings, to ensure the successful handover of all work by 14th July 2017 – within a year of the commencement of early works. At the peak of the project – just before Christmas 2016 – between 60 and 80 people were working on site.