Work on a Leeds City Region Growth Deal project to improve teaching facilities at Shipley College is now complete.
Shipley College’s Grade Two listed Mill Building, in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Saltaire, has undergone a £388k refurbishment. It was made possible by a £119,000 grant from the LEP and West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Local Growth Fund, through the LEP Skills Capital Programme.
Mill Building provides teaching facilities for a range of students and classes including Maths, English and Languages. The Growth Deal funding was used to upgrade facilities, including new energy efficient windows and lighting, roof works and the refurbishment of the existing teaching and student space. As a result of this investment, student numbers are expected to increase, enabling the college to support more young people into employment or further education.
It is the first project funded by the Leeds City Region Growth Deal to be completed.
Councillor David Green, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee Leader of Bradford Council said: “Bradford has a growing young population and investing in these essential skills and learning environments is important so that we provide the best quality of education for our young people entering the workforce in the future.
“Our Skills Capital programme is helping improve the learning facilities for students across Leeds City Region and this completed project takes us a step closer to achieving our ambition of a ‘NEET-free’ City Region.”
Supporting young people
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (The LEP) said: “Ensuring students have access to the best possible learning facilities is crucial to supporting their skills development and employment prospects.
“Visiting the refurbished college building and meeting some of the students that are benefitting from this investment evidenced exactly why we are prioritising these infrastructure projects, making learning environments brighter, warmer and ultimately a space for talent to grow and prosper.
“It is particularly pleasing that this is our first Growth Deal funded project to complete, demonstrating the impact of working in partnership to make an impact on people’s lives and further our economic growth.”
Investing in the future
Nav Chohan, Shipley College Principal said: “The investment from the LEP has not only helped maintain our first class facilities but also allowed us to protect an historic building for another generation”.
Built in 1854, Mill Building was the refectory or staff canteen for workers at Salts Mill, where 600 people sat down for breakfast every day. It also served as the factory school and, through Shipley College, has retained its educational heritage.
Through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, the LEP secured £79 million to invest in upgraded college premises and create world class learning environments across Leeds City Region. Four colleges were successful in the first round of the Skills Capital funding including Shipley College, Calderdale College, Kirklees College and Leeds City College.
A further four projects have been approved in the second round which includes Bradford College for an Advanced Technology Centre, Shipley College for investment in the Salt Building and IT upgrade project , Selby College for the Aspiration Building Refurbishment and Extension and Wakefield College to establish an Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre.
Shipley College’s Mill Building is the first Growth Deal funded project to be completed. It builds on work by the LEP and its partners over the past four years that will add an extra £1.4 billion to the Leeds City Region’s economic output by 2020 and has already helped to create an additional 3,200 jobs for local people.
As a result of the full Growth Deal funding, the LEP and its partners are expected to create an additional 20,600 jobs and add an extra £2.1 billion a year to the City Region economy by 2031, above and beyond current projected growth.