Four further education colleges from West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges have been awarded £17m skills funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to realise plans to enable them to invest in new and improved facilities to support skills development and training for young people in the region.
The investment signals major growth for the colleges which will enhance the offer available to the region’s employers through expanded facilities and resources.
Calderdale College, Kirklees College, Leeds City College and Shipley College have all been awarded funding in line with the LEP and Skills Network’s shared vision of investing in skills needs to ensure future business growth.
Louise Tearle, Partnership Director said:
“The LEPs investment will enable our colleges to create outstanding opportunities to connect skills with the needs of local businesses. We are delighted to have secured funding which will support key sectors and drive economic growth across the region.”
Kirklees College will now develop a process manufacturing training facility adjacent to its new Engineering Centre with substantial backing from chemical and food manufacturing employers, including Nufarm, Syngenta and BASF.
Leeds City College will now complete Phase 3 of its Printworks Campus in the heart of the South Leeds regeneration area, consolidating its creative and digital provision on site.
Located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Saltaire, Shipley College will refurbish its Mill Building, furthering its efforts to provide a pathway to employment for young people with low basic skills and the long-term unemployed.
Calderdale College will use the funding to upgrade a major building within its estate, the Percival Whitley centre, enabling it to enhance and extend its curriculum offer to support local employers.
Peter McCann, Principal of Kirklees College and Chair of West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges said:
“If we are to meet the needs of employers in our region and develop the higher level skills necessary for our economy to become more dynamic and competitive, we must prioritise investment in modern training facilities and resources.
“The skills sector unlike schools, universities and sixth form colleges, will no longer receive direct capital investment from Government so this investment by our Local Enterprise Partnership is a very welcome stimulus for our economy.”
£17m has been allocated in the first round of funding following an open competition and bidding process. The LEP has now launched the second call for applications to its skills capital fund, encouraging skills providers in the Leeds City Region to apply for funding. For more information visit http://www.the-lep.com/skills-capital/