Bradford College has been awarded £10 million by the Government to build a new “advanced technologies centre” in the city centre.
The announcement, made yesterday, will see the building fully funded by the Skills Funding Agency address shortages in technology and science skills in Bradford.
The college is one of 22 that the Government is investing £194.3 million in to build state-of-the-art facilities and the project is one of only two that have been granted full funding.
The new centre will be built on the Alexandra car park on Randall Well Street, near the under-construction Hockney Building, which cost £50m and is being funded by the college.
The building will be used to teach classes in green technology, electrical engineering and computer design among other subjects, as well as being home to dental and optical labs.
A planning application for the building has been submitted to Bradford Council with a decision due in May.
The Government announcement said: “This project will create a new Advanced Technologies Centre to meet growing demand for specialist skills training through provision of a services of highly specialist technology environments.”
Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Effective capital investment has a significant educational and economic impact, helping attract learners back into education and training, improving learner outcomes, and boosting the businesses and communities they serve.”
A Bradford College spokesman said it was “delighted” with the announcement, adding: “The centre will meet the growing demand for dedicated skills training through the provision of highly specialist technology environments.
“This will greatly benefit the people and employers of Bradford, especially those within the manufacturing industry, which accounts for approximately 25 per cent of economic activity in the area.
“In addition to the David Hockney Building, which will open its doors to learners from September, the new Advanced Technologies Centre will continue the college’s ongoing commitment to positively contribute to the regeneration of Bradford, its people and its industries.”
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for employment, skills and culture, said: “I am delighted that Bradford College has secured this funding. Increasingly, as a district, we are distinguishing ourselves in advanced manufacturing and this latest news further reinforces our credentials in that area.
“It will provide a modern facility for our young people to develop skills in this important field. What's more, it's another new investment to support the regeneration of Bradford City Centre.”