On Monday 31 July, representatives from Leeds City College, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Wates Construction, and Leeds City Council, along with other local dignitaries, gathered for a special ground-breaking ceremony to mark work formally commencing on the new Leeds City College campus in Quarry Hill. The £57m project (in the heart of the city’s cultural quarter) will take two years to complete by the lead contractor, Wates Construction. The new campus will be home to the Leeds City College Creative & Digital Arts and Health & Social Sciences departments.
The new campus has been part-funded by a £33.4m grant from the Leeds City Region Local Growth Deal, administered by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP). It is expected work will be complete by summer 2019, ready for the 2019/2020 academic year. 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, built by Wates in 2010.
Louise Child, Director of Capital Projects at Leeds City College, said:
“We are delighted to start work on this project which will see further rejuvenation of a vibrant part of Leeds. This innovative campus will provide students with a contemporary learning environment that highlights our commitment to meeting the needs of the local economy.”
Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director of Wates Construction Yorkshire & North East, commented:
“Wates has a very well established reputation across Yorkshire particularly in the education sector. We have an excellent team in place in readiness to start construction and look forward to what will undoubtedly be a very rewarding project for all involved.”
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said:
“Our £33.4m investment into the Leeds City College Quarry Hill campus is testimony to a commitment 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 to the region.”
Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“In the past three years, Leeds’ economy has grown faster than that of London despite a continued challenging economic environment. The new campus will help ensure this upwards trend is long-term and will help children and young people develop skills to take advantage of all the opportunities offered by the city’s economic success. They will be able to learn and develop in first-class education facilities that will be among the best, not only in the Northern Powerhouse, but across the whole country.”