Wakefield College’s new £7M Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre (ASIC) will officially be opened by Wakefield MP Mary Creagh and the Leader of Wakefield Council, Cllr Peter Box CBE this week. Mary and Peter will be joined by senior College staff, students and other partners as they unveil a plaque to mark the occasion.
Commenting on the opening, Mary said: “I am delighted to be involved with the opening of this new centre. The centre will provide higher education for students as well as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in Wakefield. It will allow students to access exciting new opportunities without having to move away from home.”
Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council said: “2017 marks a new era where higher level education and innovation can be delivered from within the City.
“It has been a personal priority to see this delivered for our younger and older people, who now have the opportunity to access, close to home, the learning and training they need to reach their full potential.
“We are now in a much stronger position to help bridge the region’s skills gap and give young people and employers higher level educational and employment opportunities right on their doorstep.”
The new centre, based at the College’s City Campus, has already welcomed its first cohort of students earlier this month and promises to transform high-levels skills delivery in the district.
The centre includes general teaching facilities, specialist engineering labs, a 90 seat lecture theatre, a modern Apple Mac suite, IT rooms and business incubation spaces where local entrepreneurs can bring their business ideas to life.
Wakefield College Principal, Sam Wright added: “The official opening of our new ASIC is another huge milestone for the College. The new facility is already proving popular with our professional and university-level students who are making the most of the modern teaching and learning environment.
“I want to see this new facility at the heart of rethinking high-level skills in the district and for it to become a hub for innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship to help drive economic growth and help transform lives through learning.”
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “By investing more than £3.3m into Wakefield College’s new Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre, the LEP is helping to tackle skills shortages in priority areas so that the City Region economy can grow and flourish in the long term.
“The business incubation space will also create a centre for local firms to advance and progress, harnessing new technologies and ways of working that will ensure Wakefield and the City Region remains at the forefront of the innovation age.”
The ASIC project has received £3.3M investment through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.