EAST Anglian builders’ merchant chain Ridgeons has opened a training academy and centre of excellence to help meet demand for sustainable products.

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The facility at Pampisford, near Cambridge, to be known as the Greenlight Centre, was officially opened by Gregory Barker, the Minister of State for Climate Change,

Mr Barker said: “Ridgeons’ dedicated training academy is a fantastic facility that will help employees learn new skills to a high standard.

“It’s vital that companies like Ridgeons continue to develop so they can take advantage of new opportunities in the green market, such as the Green Deal.

“The Green Deal is opening up a brand new energy efficiency sector and businesses need employees with the right skills and knowledge to make the most of this. Investing in new training facilities is a great way to step up to this exciting challenge.”

Cambridge-based Ridgeons has 25 branches, at locations including Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, Diss, Halesworth, Ipswich, Kelvedon, Lowestoft, Martlesham Heath, Newmarket, Saffron Walden, Sudbury and Thetford.

The new centre will enables it to demonstrate its range of sustainable product solutions, offering access to product advice, guidance and technical support in areas including energy, water, building materials, surface water and waste.

Working in partnership with a range of construction industry specialists, Ridgeons has also developed an innovative range of courses that provide practical solutions to renewable energy and sustainable building needs.

Ridgeons’ managing director, Angela Rushforth, said: “The opening of the Greenlight Centre demonstrates how serious we are about providing our customers with a selection of sustainable solutions.

“The investment that we have made in the centre, coupled with the support of our training and supply partners ensures that we are able to offer customers a whole building approach to sustainability providing advice and knowledge, right through to training and improved product choice.”

Johnnie Sam, deputy chairman, added: “We are delighted that the Rt Hon Gregory Barker MP could join us in officially opening the Greenlight Centre of Excellence and Training Academy.

“The Ridgeons mission is to make it easier for our customers to do business, by supporting them in the provision of all their building supplies needs, quickly and efficiently. The opening of the centre adds to this promise and ensures that we are at the forefront in providing the products that make environmentally compliant work easy.”

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