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Aspiration Extension Officially Opens to Support Construction Industry Skills Gap

Published 5 September 2017

The £1.4m extension and refurbishment to the college’s Aspiration Building was formally opened in front of representatives from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership. Also attending were senior college staff and governors, plus local school heads, employers and civic leaders from Selby, North Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

The brief was to extend the existing building to provide approximately 500 sqm of additional floor space, consisting of a large extension to the front (west) elevation of the existing building measuring 380 sqm; a small machine shop extension of 50 sqm to the north elevation, and a mezzanine floor of 63 sqm with access from the main body of the extension. The project will also include the creation of 40 additional car park spaces to the north-west corner of the existing car park.

Government investment to accelerate growth

The project received 50% funding through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1 billion-plus package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

The college was successful in gaining a bid for funds from the LEP as a means of fulfilling the skills gap in the industry.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP and a Combined Authority Board Member, said: “Creating more and better Apprenticeships is central to our plan to build long-term and sustainable economic growth for the Leeds City Region. By investing in the Aspiration Building at Selby College – already the area’s largest provider of Apprenticeships – we are aspiring ourselves to deliver a skilled and flexible local workforce from within the city region itself.”

In what is his 10th Building Project in 25 years as Principal of Selby College, Allan Stewart OBE said: “Since the main campus was officially opened in 2011 we have continued to add to our estate programme. The college has always successfully responded to new needs for training and education. We have seen a huge growth in demand for Media Production, Engineering, Sports, Computing and Business Services. Construction is one of the fastest growing areas, with an ageing workforce, a growing housing shortage and a need for people with skills who are able to travel within the Yorkshire and Humber region. It is therefore vital we offer young people the opportunities to learn a wide range of different skills.”


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