The vision for Leeds City College’s new £60m state-of-the-art Quarry Hill Campus has been unveiled. Around 100 politicians, civic and business leaders, academics and students gathered at the nine-story complex, which is due to open its doors this summer, to hear more about what the new building will mean for the College, its students, the city and wider region.
The project has received £33.4 million funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
The college’s schools of Creative Arts and Social Science will be relocated to Quarry Hill, as well as facilities and space for Leeds College of Music, which is based nearby. The purpose-built facility will welcome approximately 3,000 students this summer, at the start of the 2019/20 academic year, with the campus set to house two of the college’s biggest schools.
The building, which has a number of highly innovative features to enhance environmental performance, is designed to be an integral part of the city’s Cultural Quarter, with neighbouring sites, such as the BBC and Leeds Playhouse being within a few minutes’ walk. The location of the campus has been meticulously planned out, and feeds into the college’s overall development strategy, which has seen massive investment in teaching facilities across the city and wider region in recent years.
Colin Booth, Chief Executive and Principal of the Leeds City College, which also incorporates Leeds College of Music, Keighley College and the White Rose Academies Trust under its banner, said: “Our new campus at Quarry Hill is the result of years of hard work by our staff and partners. It represents a fantastic and inspiring new space for our students and staff, but also for the city and wider region. We’ve traced the formative years of our organisation back to 1819, so this year is of enormous historical importance to us, as our bicentenary.”
“The development represents a bridge between the fascinating past of this part of the city and our shared future. The realisation of this project is testament to the drive and determination of our people over many years and wouldn’t have been possible without assistance from stakeholders across the region and further afield. We’re delighted to be playing a part in creating a shared resource for our future, and developing the skills needed for the region’s continued growth and success.”
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “Quarry Hill Campus represents the culmination of years of planning, the result of which will be an enormous asset in the development of skills and creation of jobs in the Leeds City Region. Through Growth Deal funding, we’ve been able to invest in these fantastic new facilities, which will help meet skills demand in important sectors such as healthcare and social care, as well as developing talent in growing creative industries in the region.”
“This is yet another example of how our Growth Deal investment is making a difference to people in the region, helping them access skilled jobs in fast-growing sectors.”
Due to open its doors later in the year, the Quarry Hill Campus will be one of the first projects delivered as part of the £300m redevelopment of the area. The building has been designed to be perfectly tailored to the teaching areas due to move in, to the extent that no two rooms are the same. It sits alongside the Leeds Playhouse, which is currently undergoing redevelopment. Between the two sites, a shared space is in the process of being created, which will open up access to buildings and amenities.
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.
“I am delighted that this £33 million Growth Deal investment will provide state-of-the-art facilities at the new Leeds City College Quarry Hill campus and help students develop the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.”
“Not only will this project boost employment prospects for local young people, it also supports businesses by developing the region’s highly skilled workforce and contributes to our wider Growth Deal plan to transform the city’s prospects for the future.”