Wiltshire Publications

Westbury farm shop and cafe wins building award

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FAIRFIELD Farm College’s ‘real work learning’ building was the winner of the Community category at the  LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Regional Building Excellence Awards announced recently. w583 Fairfield Farm College  

The building was also a finalist in the Best Education and Best Sustainability Building categories.

The building contains a café, a farm shop, the college reception, a catering kitchen and the associated baserooms for students to learn the theory and practice of working in commercial environments.  The areas are staffed by students, their tutors and support staff.  The students, who all have learning disabilities, learn all the practical skills they might require to apply for a job in this type of environment when they complete their course.

The college would like to thank the Bath based Hetreed Ross Architects who designed the building and worked closely with the college throughout the design and building phases to ensure that the completed building met the needs of the students as a learning environment and the local community who support the shop and café.

Hetreed Ross Architects were well assisted by E&M West Structural Engineers for advice on both structural engineering and sustainable drainage solutions and by Ken Jenn on cost advice.

The builders Ken Biggs Contractors Limited worked with the college staff to ensure that the college could operate with minimum disruption during the building process and constructed a building which the college can be very proud of and works well for the students learning goals.

Some of the things people say about the building:

Wiltshire Council Building Control, “Please accept my sincere congratulations on behalf of Wiltshire Building Control – I thought the award was a real testament to your team’s input into this community cause and it’s thrilling to see such a great new facility for these young adults. Overall a great building and a much-deserved Award.”

Some of the comments from students, included: Sophie, “I am a receptionist, it’s cool, it’s a very important thing.” • Robbie: “I like working in the shop so much, it’s good.  Nice building – excellent.” • Mark: “I work in the kitchen, nice kitchen.” • Liam: “”When I am working with the post it feels like I am in a sorting office.”

And from some of the staff: “The beams are an attractive feature • The building is light and airy • The curvature of the reception wall is a good feature • The building makes an attractive feature in the village • The planting the students have done in the front of the building makes the shop and café very welcoming • The building provides an excellent work environment for students and the equipment in all areas is of a quality and standard that would be found in the workplace in commercial settings.

There have also been a number of comments left on the college’s facebook page recently from customers, including: Sandy, “Just moved into the village. We love the cafe and had such a warm welcome. Thank you. Can’t wait to pop in again soon!” and Garth, “Since the opening of the café, shop and conference room villagers have taken full advantage of the facilities.  The place is a splendid meeting point.  It is probably one of the best things that has happened in years in the village.”