Ex-student returns to help construct £9m landmark college building

Ed Carr on the site of the new Digi Tech Factory building. 

Ed Carr on the site of the new Digi Tech Factory building. - Credit: City College Norwich

Two and a half years after completing his construction course, a former student is back at City College Norwich overseeing a multi-million pound new building project.

Ed Carr, 20, is a trainee project manager with building firm R G Carter, who were awarded the contract to build the £9.1m Digi-Tech Factory on the college’s Norwich campus.

Architects image of The Digi Tech Factory at Norwich City College.

Architects image of The Digi Tech Factory at Norwich City College. - Credit: Coffey Architects

It is not the first local major project Ed has been involved with, as he is also currently working on the £53m Carrow Quarter, a four-phase development will eventually see 323 new flats built at Riverside in Norwich.

He said construction knowledge gained during his time at City College Norwich, where he studied a Level 3 extended diploma in construction and the built environment, had provided an ideal preparation for his current role. 

He said: “We went on a lot of site visits, which is the way to learn. You see the real thing out there, real life, and how everything works.”

Ed Carr is working as trainee project manager on both the City College Norwich

Ed Carr is working as trainee project manager on both the City College Norwich and Carrow Quarter construction projects. - Credit: RG Carter


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In the second year of his course, Ed won a competition to come up with a plan for converting the college’s Lewis Building into student accommodation. The prize included three days’ work experience with R G Carter.

It clearly paid off as in addition to gaining experience, he went on to study for a four-year degree in construction management funded by his employer. 

When completed in the summer of 2021, the new building will provide a state-of-the-art base for digital skills training at the college.

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As trainee project manager, Ed has on-site responsibilities including reviewing construction progress, chairing meetings with subcontractors and suppliers, monitoring health and safety and ordering materials.

He is also sharing his experiences of moving from college into the industry, with the current crop of construction students, including leading tours of the Digi-Tech Factory site.

Ed Carr on the site of the Digi Tech Factory.

Ed Carr on the site of the Digi Tech Factory. - Credit: City College Norwich

He said: “I love to talk to the students. When I was a student here, getting to talk to people that had been on the same path before me was really helpful. 

“I could see that the course could actually get me somewhere, that it was not just about getting a qualification, but that you can actually get somewhere from it.”

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