From education to employment

Skills Boost as Leeds City College Opens Doors to New £60m Campus

Today, at the start of the new 2019/20 academic year, Leeds City College will celebrate in style with the opening of its brand-new £60m Quarry Hill Campus, and the arrival of approximately 3,000 students to the state-of-the-art facility.

The impressive nine-story complex, which was nearly two years in construction and sits at the heart of the Cultural Quarter, is the new home for the college’s School of Creative Arts and School of Social Science. These departments are two of the institution’s biggest faculties – bigger than some entire colleges. Both departments are set to support key industries in the Leeds City Region – digital and healthcare, with space also provided for Leeds College of Music and Higher Education courses.

A week-long programme of activities will mark the unveiling of the new facilities, timed to coincide with the college’s bicentenary. These milestone events include staging an ambitious welcome reception involving 200 students and staff in brightly coloured clothing to represent the diverse 200-year history of the organisation (which can trace its roots back to the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, founded in 1819) and the CEO of Luminate Education Group, Colin Booth, abseiling down the new building!

Quarry Hill Campus will play a vital role in addressing regional skills gaps with courses including Visual & Digital Arts, Games Design, Media, Music and Performance Production, Childhood and Education, Health Science and Social Care, and Public Services.Facilities on site include TV and media suites, photography and dance studios, a costume workshop, newsroom and gallery spaces, science labs, outdoor working spaces, lecture theatres, a complimentary therapy room and 200-seat theatre complete with backstage technical equipment.

The Quarry Hill Campus development received £33.4m 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-plus package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

Colin Booth, CEO and Principal of Luminate Education Group, said:

“We are delighted to officially open our Quarry Hill Campus, which is the result of years of hard work by our staff and partners. 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. As such, we’re excited to have arranged a packed week of activity on site to mark the college’s accomplishments, past, present and future.“This new building offers a first-class educational experience and demonstrates our commitment to offering innovative learning environments and creative vocational programmes. Healthcare, social care, childcare, and digital are some of the biggest local employment sectors, so we are proud to be playing our part in the city region and making a positive difference to the lives of our students.”

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: 

“The new state-of-the-art Quarry Hill campus is the largest investment from a total pot of almost £80 million from our Growth Deal funding which we allocated to improving further and higher educational facilities throughout the Leeds City Region.

“Our £33.4 million investment in Leeds City College will play a key role 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.”

The purpose-built facility boasts the highest standards of environmental performance and has a BREEAM Excellent rating. It utilises green ‘living’ walls and solar units to harvest energy, as well as eight different types of glass to naturally moderate temperature inside.Designed by Ellis Williams Architects and built by Wates Construction North East & Yorkshire, Quarry Hill Campus is one of the first projects delivered as part of a wider £300m redevelopment of Quarry Hill, with investment in creative, cultural, academic, residential and commercial premises. The new college building sits in the Cultural Quarter of Leeds alongside the BBC, Leeds College of Music (which is also part of the Luminate Education Group), Northern Ballet, and Leeds Playhouse, currently undergoing redevelopment. Between the sites, a shared space is in the process of being created, which will open up access to buildings and amenities.

About Leeds City College

Leeds City College is one of the largest FE colleges in the country. Keighley College, Harrogate College, University Centre Leeds, Leeds Sixth Form College, Leeds College of Music and the White Rose Academies Trust are also part of Luminate Education Group (formerly the Leeds City College Group). It has over 1,000 members of staff and around 20,000 students and is one of the biggest providers of apprenticeships nationally.

The Quarry Hill Campus represents a significant milestone in the history of the institution. It is built on the site of the former Quarry Hill Flats that were located on the site until demolition in 1978. The Flats were originally constructed as part of a social experiment to accommodate an entire urban community and were the largest and most modern housing estate built of its kind in Europe during the 1930s. For further information visit 

About the West Yorkshire Combined Authority

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority works in partnership with local councils and businesses to ensure that everyone in our region benefits from a strong, successful economy and a modern, accessible transport network. By championing the region’s interests nationally and internationally, we secure the investment to deliver better transport and housing, help businesses to grow and create jobs. For more information visit .

The Combined Authority works with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help businesses in our region grow and become more productive and operates the Metro-branded network of bus stations, travel centres and public transport information for West Yorkshire.

About the Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders. Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.

Further information: If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact DCLG press office by emailing [email protected]  in the first instance to request any additional information you might need.

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects informed by detailed analysis of the most pressing economic needs in each of their areas, including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences

About the Northern Powerhouse

The Northern Powerhouse is a key aspect of this Government’s approach to addressing the productivity gap in the North and ensuring a stronger, more sustainable economy for all parts of the UK.

  • The Government has awarded £3.4billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Northern Powerhouse
  • 17 Enterprise Zones across the North have already attracted £1.3billion of private sector investments and helped attract nearly 9,000 jobs since 2012

About the Wates Group

The Wates Group, established in 1897, is one of the leading privately-owned construction, development and property services businesses in the UK. It employs approximately 4,000 people and generated turnover of £1.62bn in 2017. Wates was named Construction News’ Contractor of the Year in 2017; Building Magazine’s Major Contractor of the Year in 2016 and was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development for the second time. Wates was the first large contractor ever to be awarded Business in the Community’s Community Mark and in 2013 was awarded the inaugural National Business Award for Corporate Citizenship in recognition of its leadership and excellence in community investment. In 2017 Wates was named Organisation of the Year at the inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards. Wates is committed to the long-term future of the built environment and to leaving a positive legacy for the communities in which we work and live. The Quarry Hill project has supported a range of suppliers in West Yorkshire alongside local social enterprises (SE), including Community Wood Recycling, Recycling Lives and construction training support provider, Enable Futures. On-site training and educational engagement programmes have included site visits for students from Leeds Beckett University and Keighley College (part of Luminate Education Group), career workshops and work placement for students and apprentices.

For more information visit 

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