Council in bid for new HS2 college

Council leaders want to bring a new college to Leeds that will train the next generation of world-class engineers for the construction of High Speed 2 (HS2).

Central Government has today begun searching for the best city to base the college and Leeds is hoping to put itself at the forefront.

The college will deliver specialised training and qualifications needed to construct high speed rail, which will not only benefit HS2 but other future infrastructure projects in the region.

The first new incorporated further education college in over 20 years, it will offer technical training ensuring HS2 can be built by skilled British workers including; rail engineering, environmental skills and construction.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“Bringing the college here would build on expertise already in the region creating up to 2000 new apprenticeships and an incredible lasting legacy of engineering. This would clearly benefit future engineering projects in our region making it a hotbed for talent and investment.

“The sheer length of the project means we can offer people a rewarding career in engineering, whilst the multiplicity of skills required means we will be equipping a new generation with experience at the cutting edge of technology.

“HS2 is about far more than just a railway line. We need a new north-south railway first and foremost, but it will also bring jobs, growth and regeneration to Leeds and the region."

The college will serve as a national centre building relationships with a network of affiliated facilities, including existing colleges, private training providers, HE institutions and major supply networks.

The city region had almost 200,000 students starting in higher and further education in 2011.

It also has a strong industrial rail heritage with York playing a key role and Leeds station serving around 100,000 passengers a day.

Furthermore, the region is increasing its reputation for creativity with the digital and analytical industry soon to be bolstered by the Open Data Institute that will encourage open data culture boosting both the economy and environment.

Selecting a location for the main site will be the first important step in its creation. The main requirements for the location include:

• links with employers and other providers in the rail industry

• ease of access for learners

• how the location can help rebalance the economic geography of the country

• size and availability of a suitable site

• affordability and value for money

A final decision on the preferred location is expected in June 2014, and the college is expected to open in 2017.

Notes to editor

The Department for Business, Skills and Innovation’s consultation asking where the HS2 college should be placed can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/high-speed-rail-college-possible-location


For media enquiries please contact:

Dan Johnson,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 4450

Email: daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk