LEP backs bid to maximise the potential of HS2
The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is backing a bid to host a new high speed rail college within the City Region.
In response to a government consultation, Leeds City Council has put forward a bid to become the home of a specialist construction college developing the engineering and construction skills required for the implementation of HS2.
This unique college would support skills and training across the UK to deliver important future infrastructure projects, whilst bringing a new generation of world class engineers into the Leeds City Region.
The proposed 4 acre site in Leeds, is on a cleared brownfield space on Carlisle Road in the South Bank. By 2016 the site will be fully ready for construction and the final design would feature at least two bespoke specially equipped work spaces with environmentally friendly elements.
The college will be another key element in the regeneration of the South Bank – one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe. It would be at the heart of this exciting opportunity close to the future City Centre Park and the arrival of the Leeds HS2 station now being proposed for New Lane which will bring benefits to the wider City Region.
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership offered support for the bid:
“Nowhere is better placed than Leeds City Region to host this flagship new college. Our strategic location and connectivity at the centre of the UK strategic road and rail network means we are the gateway to the North.
“Our engineering and rail industry credentials are the strongest in the country, with the highest concentration of employment of LEP areas by a wide margin, coupled with an impressive skills partnership and railway heritage means this bid puts forward a strong case to locate in the region.
“This is a perfect opportunity for the High Speed Rail College to boost the City Region economy and provide the skills and opportunities for our next generation of young people.”
Leeds city council executive member for development and economy, Councillor Richard Lewis, said:
“We want to see the people of Leeds and Yorkshire getting the benefits of HS2 early doors. Bringing the college here would create jobs and new opportunities for local people and will also help hugely to regenerate the whole of the South Bank area of the city.”
Ian Billyard Principal and Chief Executive Leeds College of Building said:
“Leeds College of Building has considerable experience of working with the civil engineering supply chain and professions through a range of Advanced and Higher (graduate) Apprenticeships.
“These companies are likely to be the prime contractors when the HS2 contracts are let. No other college in the country has the expertise of working with these companies and will ensure the HS2 College operates effectively from its inception.”
Leeds already attract 34,000 overseas students - more than anywhere outside London – and the council believes it can turn this institution into a destination of choice for overseas companies as well as a way of training our people to work abroad.
For more information on the Leeds bid, see below to view the bidding document submitted to government as well as supportive letter from the LEP to government Minister, Matthew Hancock MP.