Main contractor confirmed as Leeds City College campus works start

Wates Construction has been confirmed as the main contractor for the new Leeds City College Quarry Hill campus, as work begins on the £57m project in the heart of the city’s cultural quarter.

Securing a contract worth approximately £37.7m, Wates will now start construction work on the site, which is designed to reinforce the college’s position as a leading authority in further education across the Leeds city region.

The new campus will eventually be home to the college’s Creative and Digital Arts, and Health and Social Sciences departments. It is expected that works will complete by summer 2019, ready for the 2019/2020 academic year.

The new campus has been part-funded by a £33m grant from the Leeds City Region Local Growth Deal, administered by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP).

Designed by Ellis Williams Architects, the new development will be located at Eastgate and will sit alongside Leeds College of Music, West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Northern Ballet Theatre, which was built by Wates in 2010.

The appointment represents one of the largest education contracts secured by Wates in Yorkshire, building on its extensive experience across the region’s sector. This includes the recent completion of Leeds City Council’s Gledhow Primary School, which was handed over ahead of schedule.

Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director of Wates Construction Yorkshire & North East, said:

"We have worked closely with Leeds City College and the design team, and are very proud to have now secured the contract to build this exceptional centre for education.

"Wates has a very well established reputation across Yorkshire particularly in the education sector and this, as well as our close partnerships with the region’s suppliers and sub-contractors, has enabled us to bring this fantastic project in line with our client’s budget without a single compromise on quality. We have an excellent team in place in readiness to start construction this month and look forward to what will undoubtedly be a very rewarding project for all involved.”

Louise Child, Director of Capital Projects at Leeds City College, said:

"This innovative campus will incorporate science labs, computing and digital technology labs, specialist childcare training facilities, performance theatres and recording studios.

"It will provide students with a contemporary learning environment that highlights our commitment to meeting the needs of the local economy.”

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said:

The Leeds City Region has the highest concentration of Further and Higher Education facilities in the Northern Powerhouse and one of the highest in Europe but, in order to build on our reputation as a recognised sector leader, we cannot afford to sit still.

"Our £33m investment into the Leeds City College Quarry Hill campus is testimony to this commitment as we look to produce a workforce of tomorrow that will not only help the Leeds City Region thrive locally but also compete on the national and international stage.

"The college’s ambitions for Quarry Hill match those of the LEP – to be bold, to be brave and to make a real and tangible difference the region. Combined with our investment into high-class facilities elsewhere in West Yorkshire, we’re confident that local young people will not only benefit from improved learning facilities in the short term but also contribute to building a better city region economy for years to come.”

Find out more about Leeds City College.