National property maintenance and refurbishment contractor, Novus Property Solutions, has helped to create an outstanding new Premier Inn Training Centre for a Shropshire college.
For 90 years, Derwen College in Oswestry has worked with young people with learning difficulties and disabilities aged from 16 to 25, giving them vital independence skills and preparing them for the workplace. The college’s partnership with Whitbread has provided its students with opportunities for practical work experience at a range of local Premier Inn hotels since 2013.
Over the course of five weeks, a team of 40 operatives from Novus created the state-of-the-art training centre which is an exact replica of a suite of Premier Inn rooms. Novus staff volunteered all their time on the project and donated materials, including all furniture, TVs, carpets, curtains, and bathroom fittings free of charge as part of its Changing Lives programme.
The works involved demolishing existing internal walls and reconfiguring the space to form three separate hotel bedrooms each with an en-suite bathroom, as well as a hotel corridor, linen store room and even a reception area. The training centre has been fitted out to the exact specifications of a Premier Inn hotel, with Novus using its expertise having refurbished hundreds of Premier Inns across the country in recent years.
The training centre has been carefully designed to feel just like a hotel to give the students all the practical housekeeping skills they need to complete their training. By giving students time to get used to the setting and familiarise themselves with the routine in the training centre, their confidence and self-esteem gets a boost too.
Meryl Green, principal at Derwen College, commented: “We are absolutely delighted with this new development on site at Derwen College and excited about the opportunities it will bring. This amazing training facility, which has to be seen to be believed, will enable increased numbers of students to access industry standard training in hospitality and, ultimately, to improve their chances of gaining employment after college.
“We were very impressed with the Novus team who were all so professional, finishing everything on time and developing a really great working relationship with our site team too. We couldn’t be more delighted with the standard, which is just stunning and we’d like to say a huge thank you to Novus.”
Tracey Bishop, Premier Inn area manager for West Lancashire and the Lake District, added: “This partnership between Premier Inn, Derwen College and Novus demonstrates how industry and education can work together for the benefit of everyone. Novus supplied everything and have been absolutely fantastic – from the day we first approached them and throughout the project, I’ve been totally amazed by their generosity and support. We couldn’t have delivered this fantastic facility without Novus.”
Through its Changing Lives initiative, Novus aims to make a positive contribution to the communities in which it operates. Donating time and materials to complete the new training centre at Derwen College is just one of many projects completed as part of the programme which has just reached its target to transform 20,000 lives.
For more information on how many lives have been changed by the Novus Changing Lives initiative please visit www.novussolutions.co.uk/changinglives
(from left to right):
Kev Rhone – Head of Social Value, Novus
Jim Francis – Head of refurbishment, Whitbread
Steve Fitt – Commercial Manager, Novus
Adrian Swinbourne – Site Manager, Novus
Dean Robinson – Project Manager, Novus
Neil Hand – Managing Director, Novus
Tracey Bishop – Area Manager, Premier Inn
The students names are: Megan Eayrs (left) and Anna Norbury (right)