Leeds City College hosted a special topping out ceremony for its new campus site at Quarry Hill, officially opening in September 2019.
Representatives from Leeds City College, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Wates Construction, and Leeds City Council, gathered for the event to mark the installation of the final piece of structure for the site.
Designed by Ellis Williams Architects, the £57m development is located at Eastgate and is a stone’s throw away from 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: “The new site is an innovative project that will provide a first class education experience. It will also meet the needs of the local community.”
“We are committed to offering students a learning environment where they can develop and excel,” she added.
The new campus is part-funded by a £33.4m grant from the Leeds City Region Local Growth Deal, approved by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).The college grounds will be home to the Creative & Digital Arts, Health & Social Sciences, and Public Services departments.
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.
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth Jake Berry said:
“This Government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse and building a country that works for everyone. We have launched the Northern Powerhouse Schools Strategy and, through our growth deals, new state-of-the- art college facilities are being provided to help our young people succeed.
With a £33m growth deal investment, I am delighted that the new Leeds City College Quarry Hill campus has reached the next stage of its development. The campus, in the heart of the city’s cultural quarter, is on target to welcome young people to its Creative and Digital Arts and Health and Social Services departments next year,” he added.
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “I’m delighted to see this important new facility for Leeds and the wider City Region reach this significant milestone.
“Our £33.4million Growth Deal investment reflects the key role the new Quarry Hill campus will play in developing a talented workforce that will enable our economy to thrive – particularly in digital industries, which are creating thousands of jobs in our region every year and developing our national and international profile as a powerhouse of creativity and innovation.”
Construction work for the new development began in July 2017. It will include science labs, computing and digital technology labs, specialist childcare training facilities, practical rooms, lecture theatres, dance, art, and film studios, as well as a performance theatre. It will also house new recording studio facilities for music courses.
Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction North East and Yorkshire, said: “It is almost a year to the day since we began construction work at the new Quarry Hill campus and our topping out ceremony is a perfect milestone to celebrate what has been achieved on this flagship project.”
“The team are not only delivering an exceptional build at Quarry Hill but are doing so while using our presence on site as a force for good across the city. We have worked with the Skill Mill and EN: ABLE Futures to create training opportunities for local people, a commitment that we will continue to prioritise as we move towards completion next year.”
Quarry Hill will be the college’s second major new city centre site, after its Printworks Campus development. The state-of-the-art centre is home to the digital, IT, business, and computer science training programmes.