Catch's emotional £3.9m expansion sees further ambition underlined

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 29 Sep 2017

AMBITION and emotion fuelled a very positive reaction from more than 100 guests as the fourth significant phase of expansion was opened at beacon industrial training facility Catch. 

The Stallingborough centre of excellence has warmly embraced the memory of long-serving chief executive Glyn Hughes with the launch of The Hughes Building, set within the impressive campus where further plans for growth have been prepared.

His wife Pamela and daughters Kate and Emily were there to officially name it, after Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers cut the ribbon on the focal point of a £3.9 million investment at the Kiln Lane site. 

Pamela Hughes, with daughters Kate Knight and Emily Hughes, unveils a plaque dedicated to her late husband Glyn, inset.

Dr Hughes was at the helm of the public-private partnership HCF for a decade during which time Catch came to fruition, and was credited with building the membership and connections the organisation that has now taken the facility’s name enjoys today.

He passed away two years ago, aged 59, but it was clear his enthusiasm and energy remained part of the fabric of the site, where engineers and technicians of the future learn their trades.

In the new building, handed over by developer Engie and contractor Gelder earlier this week, 12 North Lindsey College learners will on Monday start a year-long ECITB Introduction to Engineering Programme.  It is the first time the training provider has delivered a programme there.

Mrs Hughes told how she was “delighted and so proud”. “He would have been happy and extremely humble,” she said. “Glyn was a great believer in Catch, the vision and the unique approach to industry training. He would have been delighted to see how it has gone from strength to strength. 

“This is a very poignant day for us, and it will last long in out memories.” 

Funding has included £1.8 million from North East Lincolnshire Council and £1.75 million from the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, providing two new workshops, eight classrooms and catering facilities. It also covered opening up the adjacent land so it is investment-ready. 

Mr Vickers said the training is “absolutely vital to the future prosperity of the area”, adding it was a great tribute to all of those involved in the partnership that a “world class facility with future plans to expand even further” had been created. “I remember referring to Catch in my maiden speech in parliament,” he said, “it is truly a real asset to the area”. 

Martin Vickers cuts the ribbon watched by Brendan Conlan, David Talbot and Ros James.

Reflecting on the success since it opened, Cllr Ros James, portfolio holder for children and young people at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “The partnership between the council, Catch and the private sector remains as strong today as it was then.

“Hundreds of apprentices and other learners have started their careers here and gone on to work, not only across the Humber, but across the world. The Hughes Building will continue that tradition. These are exciting times for the Humber and North East Lincolnshire.”  

Learners in one of two new workshops contained within the new building.

Catch chairman Brendan Conlan urged business to make best use of the facility as he set aspirations high.

He told how Dr Hughes was “one of the main drivers of Catch, such a fundamental person when it came to  why this facility is here,” and said it was right he should be remembered in such a way.  “I would like to thank Glyn’s wife and daughters for the support they gave him while he was here,” he said. “He is remembered fondly.”

Looking to the future, Mr Conlan said: “It is an excellent occasion. It is 10 years since the introduction of Catch on the site and now we are opening Catch Four. We have a monumental plan for the next 10 years, we will see Catch Five, Six, Seven and Eight, and it will see us become the premium training facility in the north of England, if not England.”

A classroom within the Catch Four facility.

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