Project managers at Focus Consultants are helping to create a new £5.5 million Boatbuilding and Heritage Skills Training Centre.

The firm is working with Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust and the International Boatbuilding Training College on the project to restore and refurbish Boathouse 4 – an iconic building within Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

PNBPT recently received a £3.75 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the scheme, which will become a centre of excellence for boatbuilding training and will also include exhibitions and displays relating to the British Navy’s small boats.

Boathouse 4, built during the 1930s rearmament period, is currently in a run-down state, and Nottingham-based Focus Consultants has been appointed as project manager and quantity surveyor for the restoration and refurbishment scheme, which is due to get underway on site in August 2014.

The boatbuilding training college, which will focus on preserving and celebrating valuable traditional skills, is due to open in April 2015.

“Focus Consultants is proud to be playing a part, not just in restoring a significant building in the dockyard, but in helping to create training facilities that will support boatbuilding and heritage training skills for the future,” said Steven Fletcher, partner at Focus Consultants, which is based at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham.

“Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the centre of the nation’s maritime heritage and there are exciting plans to include displays and exhibits that tell the story of some of the famous small boats in the British Navy.”

IBTC Portsmouth, the new, south coast branch of the International Boatbuilding Training College, and Highbury College will deliver courses at the centre, which will provide annual Heritage Bursaries, offering local people currently unemployed or disengaged with education the opportunity to undertake one year’s full time traditional boatbuilding training, leading to a City and Guilds qualification and an IBTC Portsmouth Diploma.

The project has also received £479,000 from the Regional Growth Fund, a government initiative supporting large projects with the potential to create long-term private sector jobs, as part of a £1.3m award towards PNBPT projects.

Focus Consultants, which also has offices in Leicester, Boston, Aubourn near Lincoln, and in Holborn, London, has been involved in a wide range of schemes linked to the heritage of the British forces, including an impressive new visitor centre for Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast, which opened earlier this year. The firm is currently working on a multi-million pound redevelopment at the National Army Museum in Chelsea. The company also recently carried out a feasibility study for a new heritage attraction at RAF Scampton – the home of the Royal Airforce Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, and the base from which 617 Squadron carried out the Dambusters raid 70 years ago.

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR