The signing of a beam and laying of bricks marked the ‘Topping Out’ of Wakefield College’s new £6.8M Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre (ASIC) at a special event last week. Senior College staff were joined by representatives from a number of stakeholder groups to celebrate the milestone.
Wakefield College Principal, Sam Wright welcomed Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, leader of the Council, Councillor Peter Box, Stephanie Burras from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and representatives from other partner organisations to mark the completion of the highest point of the building.
Local MP Mary Creagh praised the new facility and underlined the importance of high level skills whilst Cllr Peter Box talked about what the new centre will mean to the City. Stephanie Burras highlighted the LEP’s commitment to helping put in place the right skills infrastructure to help economic growth in the region.
Wakefield College Principal Sam Wright said:
“It’s great to see our new Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre taking shape and we are all looking forward to its completion next year. The new facility will help develop vital high level skills and become a hub for enterprise and entrepreneurship helping train the business leaders of tomorrow.”
Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said:
“This centre will bring higher level education into the city centre, enabling our residents to access this closer to home. It will help support our aspirations to improve higher level skills in key growth sectors and attract more skilled jobs into the district.”
Stephanie Burras, Chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Panel said:
“We are supporting this important project to help provide access to better paid, more skilled jobs in the future. This initiative has the potential to tackle some of the skills shortages in our key sectors, particularly manufacturing and engineering and align higher-level skills provision with the needs of employers.
By developing this centre, and particularly the business start-up incubation facility, we are not only preparing young people for future careers, but also aiding business sustainability by offering mentoring, coaching and financial guidance. I look forward to following the progress of the site as it continues to develop and bring benefits to the City Region economy.”
The ASIC building, which is due to open its doors next year, aims to focus on innovation and enterprise in order to promote economic growth within the community. High level provision from areas including engineering, web design, game development and teacher training will be delivered from the new facility.
The ASIC project has received £3.3M investment through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of investment to accelerate good growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.