Funding injection for colleges in Leeds City Region
The LEP has awarded £17m of skills funding, secured in last year’s Local Growth Deal, to four further education colleges in the Leeds City Region, enabling them to invest in new and improved facilities to support skills development and training for young people in the region.
As a result of the LEP’s investment, 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.
Roger Marsh, Chair of the LEP said:
“Developing a skilled and flexible workforce for our current and future employers is a core element of the LEP’s vision for the future.
“I am particularly pleased to see how many businesses in the engineering sector have supported the investment in these facilities. As the Leeds City Region is home to the largest manufacturing centre in the country, I am delighted we have been able to listen to the needs of the business community and invest in future skills in our key sectors.”
Councillor Dave Green, Leader of Bradford Council and Deputy Chair of the LEP Employment and Skills Panel said:
“This investment will not only create an outstanding learning environment for students, but also meets the needs of employers, ensuring we get the right skills for business growth in the future.”
Peter McCann, Principal of Kirklees College and Chair of Leeds City Region Skills Network 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.”
The funding was allocated from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills as part of the LEP’s £1billion Growth Deal, secured last summer. The LEP was awarded £74m over two years, along with the highest level of flexibility and trust in the decision-making process, enabling investment decisions to be taken locally by public and private sector leaders rather than being taken centrally in Whitehall.
£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/