Wednesday, October 1, 2014

News: Doncaster chosen as site for new HS2 college

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The rail and engineering sector in the Sheffield City Region has received a massive boost with the Government selecting Doncaster as the site for the new National High Speed Rail College.

Providing specialist vocational training to the next generation of engineers working on the High Speed 2 (HS2) project and beyond, the headquarters will be based in Birmingham and the college will also have a site in Doncaster.

As many as 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities will be created by HS2, and there will be around 25,000 people employed during construction. HS2 will support growth in the wider economy and it is predicted that this could lead to an additional 400,000 jobs.

The sites were selected following a consultation process which attracted a number of very strong proposals from across the country. Doncaster was chosen as it has excellent links to established rail industry businesses and a "ready to go" 5.1 acre site at the Lakeside Campus has been identified.

The successful Centre for Rail Engineering and Technical Expertise (CREATE) bid, coordinated by Doncaster Council, involved a range of private sector businesses and was supported by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: "The new HS2 College is good news for jobs, skills and economic growth in Doncaster and the Sheffield City Region.

"The Sheffield City Region HS2 College bid brought together local leaders from across the private and public sectors to make the strongest case possible for the college to be located in Doncaster.

"Together with strong support from all the other LEPs in Yorkshire and the North East, this played a major part in persuading Government to locate the college in the North.

"Sheffield City Region has all the elements needed to make the flagship HS2 College a great success, including a reputation and heritage in rail engineering, its location on the East Coast Mainline, an exceptional engineering business base and world-class further and higher education providers."

The new college will be led by employers from the sector and will set industry standards for training based on emerging technology and the use of cutting-edge facilities, with trainers who are expert in their field. The specialist training at the college will be level 4 and over.

The AMRC Training Centre played an instrumental part in the bid. Alison Bettac, director of the centre, which is based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, said: "The AMRC congratulates Doncaster in the successful bid for the HS2 National College and are delighted to have been involved with their journey and look forward to being involved in the development and delivery of the project going forward."

The new college is set to open in 2017 in preparation for HS2, the government's £50 billion high speed rail project. South Yorkshire will have a stop on the new North-South line with the final route set to be announced in May 2015. Work is continuing on studying the connectivity around potential station locations at Meadowhall and Sheffield Victoria.

Business Doncaster website
Sheffield City Region LEP website

Images: Bond Bryan

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