THE BARROW ENGINEERING PROJECT
The Barrow Engineering Project (BEP) was launched in April 2008 by the Royal Academy of Engineering as the first regional project of its kind, following the resounding success of the London Engineering project.
The main aims of the BEP from the outset were to raise the overall profile of engineering in the Furness area, to increase awareness of the valuable contribution of engineering to our society and to enrich the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) attainment and skills’ levels of local learners (both through the existing STEM curriculum and through enrichment activities).
The BEP celebrated five very successful years on 4 July 2013 with a showcase event at The Forum in Barrow. Up to July 2013, the project has involved some impressive numbers – over 25,000 student participants, over 150 teaching staff who have led and/or organised STEM activities and over 200 employees from local engineering businesses who have supported hands-on engineering challenges with their expertise.
From primary schools through to further education, 17 local schools or colleges (including Walney School) are core members of the BEP. Other Furness schools are now starting to benefit from the achievements of the project, largely through the work of the Furness Education & Skills Partnership between schools and local businesses which the BEP was instrumental in setting up.
Some highly regarded local businesses continue to see the BEP as a vital mechanism for producing future local employees of a high standard and strongly support the work of the BEP and FESP. These businesses are: BAE Systems, Vattenfall, Tritech, Centrica, Siemens Subsea & GlaxoSmithKline.
Funding to support the huge range of BEP activities, apart from that provided by the Royal Academy of Engineering, has come from Barrow Borough Council, Cumbria County Council, Barrow Regeneration, the Garfield Weston Foundation & the Sir John Fisher Foundation.
Thanks to the continuing support of the Sir John Fisher Foundation, the BEP will run for a sixth school year from September 2013.