- Construction of new new Innovation Centre at Wakefield College’s City Campus is underway.
- New Centre will focus on innovation and enterprise in order to promote economic growth within the community.
- Students will have modern teaching and learning facilities and Centre will be a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
- It will be a space for local start-up businesses to bring their business ideas to life.
- West Yorkshire Combined Authority approved £3.3m funding through the Growth Deal, a £1bn package of government investment, secured by the LEP.
Work approved by West Yorkshire Combined Authority to develop a new Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre at Wakefield College is well underway.
Located at the College’s City Campus in Wakefield, the new Centre will focus on innovation and enterprise in order to promote economic growth within the community. It will provide students with modern teaching and learning facilities. It will also be a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship enabling enterprising students and local start-up businesses to bring their business ideas to life.
The former building that were on the site have been demolished and construction on new Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre has started.
In November, West Yorkshire Combined Authority gave the go-ahead for the £3.3m funding through the Growth Deal, a £1bn package of government investment, secured by the LEP to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chair and Wakefield Council Leader, Cllr Peter Box said: “Delivering a programme of action to give young people the high-level skills to meet local employers’ requirements and fill the high-quality jobs we are working to create is a key priority of the updated Strategic Economic Plan we unveiled recently.
"The funding we were able to approve through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is a decision made locally to help deliver our area’s specific needs and is a real example of how devolution is already working in the City Region.
"It means our aspirations for higher level education and innovation can be delivered in Wakefield and local people of all ages and fledgling businesses can access the learning and facilities they need to reach their full potential.”
When work on the new Centre began in May, LEP Chair Roger Marsh OBE said: “This marks the start of a major investment at Wakefield College and will increase the potential for our young people to participate in higher level skills education and training. In the longer term, it will address some of the skills shortages that we face across the Leeds City Region.
“The investment also opens up further opportunities for the College to support local businesses with enterprise and innovation and I look forward to following the progress of the new centre over the coming months.”
Wakefield College Principal, Sam Wright said: “The new Advanced Skills & Innovation Centre will transform high level skills training in the district - bringing modern teaching and learning facilities for our learners. - it will also become a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship allowing enterprising students and local start-up businesses to bring their business ideas to life.”
Another West Yorkshire Combined Authority-approved and Growth Deal-funded project, to improve teaching facilities at Shipley College, was completed in February this year. The College’s Mill Building in Saltaire underwent a £388k refurbishment made possible by a £119,000 grant from the Growth Fund, through the LEP Skills Capital Programme.
The Mill Building provides teaching facilities for a range of students and classes including Maths, English and Languages and the refurbishment will enable the college to support more young people into employment or further education.
Find out more about the Shipley College refurbishment (opens in new window).
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.
In a second round, further projects, at Bradford, Selby and Shipley colleges, were approved along with the new Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre work at Wakefield College.
Find out more about the Leeds City Region Strategic Economic Plan (opens in new window).