Wakefield’s university centre moves one step closer as major funding confirmed.

​Date: 20/11/2015

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The Leader and Chief Executive of Wakefield Council have welcomed the news that Wakefield College has been awarded over £3m funding to help bring a university centre to the city.

The bid is for the first stage of the development – an advanced skills and innovation centre. The centre would provide higher level provision to young adults across the district and support businesses, allowing them to access graduates and degree level training for their workforce.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority gave the go-ahead for the Growth Deal funding at a meeting. Wakefield College will match the £3,327,133 funding to meet the total project cost of £6,654,266.

Cllr Peter Box, CBE Leader of Wakefield Council said: "This news brings our ambition for an advanced skills and university centre one step closer.

"We are now embarking on a new era where our aspirations for higher level education and innovation can be delivered from within the city. Our younger and older people will soon have the opportunity to access, close to home, the learning and training they need to reach their full potential.

"The funding from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is real example of devolved power at work. A decision made in the local region by local people to help deliver the specific needs of a local area. Devolution is already working and delivering in West Yorkshire."

Wakefield Council's chief executive Joanne Roney, OBE said: "Having a university presence in this district has been a long term ambition in order to attract more highly skilled businesses and jobs to the district. As part of this it is vital that we, and our local employers, continue to invest in raising skill levels."

Wakefield College Principal, Sam Wright said: "We're delighted that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has approved our plans for the Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre at our Wakefield City Campus, designed to help bridge the region's skills gap and give young people and employers higher level educational and employment opportunities right on their doorstep.

"We are grateful for the tremendous support we've had from key stakeholders in making this a reality. The new multi-million pound build will also house our University Centre building on our existing expertise in providing university-level provision in the centre of Wakefield."