WORK is now underway on Leeds College of Building’s brand-new campus in the South Bank area of Leeds after the College appointed Clugston Construction as the main contractor on the £13 million development.
Representatives from Leeds College of Building, Clugston Construction, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and architecture practice Fuse Studios were all on site to see work commence earlier this week.
The work will complete towards the end of next year and will create a state of the art 5,200 square metre, four storey building with a range of classrooms, workshops and an impressive central atrium, alongside the College’s existing South Bank campus, between Cudbear Street and Black Bull Street. A large proportion of Leeds College of Building’s 7,000 students will then attend the two South Bank sites, with the remainder using the College’s North Street campus.
Phase two of the Hunslet campus is being supported by an £11.9m grant through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal. As part of this funding, £1m will also be spent refurbishing the North Street campus.
Ian Billyard, Principal at Leeds College of Building, which is the UK’s only specialist further education construction college, explains: “We’re delighted to start work on this impressive project, within weeks of securing planning permission for it. Clugston Construction has a strong presence in Leeds and a successful track-record working on a wide range of high-profile education projects, throughout the North of England and beyond, which made the company the ideal partner for this contract.”
Steve Radcliffe, Managing Director of Clugston Construction, said: “This is a superb project for Clugston to be involved with and especially because it will play such an important role in contributing to the future talent of the construction sector, at a time when there are clear skills shortages in the industry. We already boast an enviable track-record throughout the education sector and this new campus is made even more prevalent by the fact that it will showcase our work to future construction workers for generations to come.”
Mike Harris from Fuse Studios, which also designed the College’s existing South Bank campus, adds: “Seeing construction work start is always a special moment on any project and that’s certainly the case here. It’s just over two years since phase one of the Hunslet campus opened and it has quickly become a prominent South Bank landmark. This new building will complement this, featuring materials and an architectural language, to echo the area's industrial heritage, and it will be another highly sustainable building, with a BREEAM Excellent rating.”
Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority member, said: “The new Leeds College of Building development will form part of a thriving hub of high quality education, cultural and business facilities in the heart of the city’s South Bank. By supporting more students and apprentices to progress into the construction industry through this new campus, we are ensuring our city grows in the long-term and that young people are able to take up the opportunities offered by our continuing economic success.”
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “Our £11.9m investment into Leeds College of Building is testimony to our commitment to create a City Region of opportunity, where students are given access to high quality Further Education facilities and the best possible start to their careers. We are laying the foundations today for success of the Leeds City Region tomorrow as we continue our efforts to address the skills gap that exists in the industry.”
Leeds College of Building offers more than 200 courses across a huge range of disciplines, and has built a reputation for first-class education and training. The College is an approved Apprenticeship Levy provider and offers a wide range of Apprenticeships in traditional trades and technical Apprenticeship routes, together with two Higher Level Apprenticeships in Construction Management (Sustainability) covering four Pathways (Building Surveying, Quantity Surveying, Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering) and Facilities Management which offer university equivalent work based education.