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Operation Trevithick

MPKC and its phase 1 development, “Operation Trevithick,” will shine a light on the world of engineering and construction, opening people’s eyes to the practical world of making things, planning, problem-solving, building, and working together. MPKC will motivate people to explore career paths and opportunities that are possible with engineering, practical trades and emerging technologies. It will also harness the incredible stories of historic Cornish engineers and innovators to inspire this interest and explain many technical principals using a hands-on, practical approach to learning.  

Operation Trevithick will establish MPKC’s initial facilities at the heart of Cornwall. It is centred around the restoration of a dilapidated steam locomotive turntable and a redundant part of the DB Cargo rail freight depot in St Blazey.  Restoration of the turntable and the creation of a servicing facility for steam locomotives running on the mainline will provide opportunities for learning a range of practical STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths) and construction industry skills. In addition, it will provide important economic benefits to the whole of Cornwall by providing the facilities required to operate steam trains on the mainline rail network throughout the Duchy and beyond.

The project will include;

  • Clearing the existing site of vegetation and debris – basic team-working skills;

  • Restoration of the Grade 2* listed Turntable – engineering, fabrication, painting, etc;

  • Upgrade existing buildings – Construction, environmental technology and maintenance skills

  • Repair of engineering plant to be used on-site – engineering and maintenance skills.

Lessons that last a lifetime

Why is skills training so important?

St Blazey and several other communities in Cornwall are amongst the UK’s 10% of most deprived areas.

MPKC’s objective is to help alleviate local poverty and support social and economic regeneration by providing practical training opportunities to a broad cross section of the community. There is already a demand for STEM and Construction Industry skills by employers across Cornwall; this is set to increase.

By working directly with local and regional employers to help provide a “work-ready” labour force with the transferable STEM and construction skills that companies demand, the whole Cornish community can benefit from more high productivity employment for local people.


  • STEM and construction skills are essential in supporting the UKs economic future;

  • Practical skills training is in great demand and growing;

  • Skilled personnel are needed to meet Cornwall’s Climate Emergency Goals

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