Selby College extension will support 1,200 new learners after LEP funding

Selby College has officially opened the extension and refurbishment of its Aspiration Building – a £1.4m project part-funded by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The opening ceremony, held at the college in Abbot’s Road, Selby, on Wednesday 28 June, was attended by representatives from the LEP, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Hull-based builder Houlton and Selby College as well as dignitaries from Selby, North Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire Councils.

Vernon Wells MBE, Chair of Corporation at Selby College, officially unveiled the building’s new plaque, and spoke alongside College Principal, Allan Stewart OBE, about the impact the new facilities will have.

It is hoped that more than 1,200 additional apprentices will pass through the college’s doors by 2021, helping to fill the current gap in construction skills, locally and nationally.

Allan Stewart OBE, Selby College Principal, said:

“Since the main campus was officially opened in 2011, we have continued to add to our estate programme. The college has always successfully responded to new needs for training and education. We have seen a huge growth in demand for Media Production, Engineering, Sports, Computing and Business Services. Construction is one of the fastest growing areas, with an ageing workforce, a growing housing shortage and a need for people with skills who are able to travel within the Yorkshire and Humber region. It is, therefore, vital we offer young people the opportunities to learn a wide range of different skills.”

The extension and refurbishment work at Selby College was joint funded by the city region’s Local Growth Deal – administered by the LEP – and Selby College.

The extension adds an additional 493sqm to the Aspiration Building - incorporating a new general-use classroom, IT classroom, plumbing and electrical workshop, joinery machine shop and mezzanine floor - while refurbishment works were carried out to 535sqm of existing facilities.

It is hoped the improvements will allow the college to grow its already successful Powerskills Engineering programme, helping the local area to continue providing support to a rapidly growing industry, including for the first time HNC/HND programmes.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP and a Combined Authority Board Member, said:

“Creating more and better apprenticeships is central to our plan to build long-term and sustainable economic growth for the Leeds City Region. By investing in the Aspiration Building at Selby College – already the area’s largest provider of apprenticeships – we are aspiring ourselves to deliver a skilled and flexible local workforce from within the city region itself.”

Cllr Mark Crane, Leader of Selby District Council, added:

“Selby College is recognised across the country as a high-performing centre of learning and skills and it is fantastic that even more young people and adults will benefit from the exceptional facilities on offer thanks to the extension opened today.

“The college is putting the region on the map within the training and education arena and I look forward to seeing more apprentices pass through its doors and into successful careers in the years to come. A highly skilled workforce is one of our strengths here in the Selby district and one of the key reasons why this is a great place to do business.”

The demand for trained construction workers is set to increase dramatically over the next few years as 27% of the existing workforce retires.

For more information on Selby College, visit

Notes to editors

The Leeds City Region Growth Deal is a £1 billion-plus deal between the LEP and government to help transform the Leeds City Region economy.

The Growth Deal is being delivered jointly by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to boost jobs and growth across the whole of Leeds City Region.