Proposals being explored to create new adult learning campus in Morley as part of £24m Town Deal from the government

Education leaders in Leeds and the city council are investigating the possibility of creating an adult learning campus in Morley as part of its £24.3m government Town Deal.

By Emma Ryan
Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 4:45 am

Leeds City College and Leeds City Council are coming up with plans which they hope will make Morley "a hub of innovation" and enable local people to access an aspirational, high specification centre that inspires adults to become lifelong learners.

Proposals are in the earliest of stages and public opinion is being sought through a consultation but is envisaged they will include an ‘emerging technology centre’ to develop skills in coding, virtual reality, drone technology, robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence.

The campus will also offer English and maths courses for adults without Level 2 qualifications, vocational skills training in key employment sectors and progression advice for higher level learning.

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Proposals are in the earliest of stages and public opinion is being sought through a consultation to explore the possibility of setting up an adult learning campus in Morley.

Ann Marie Spry, Vice Principal of Adults at Leeds City College, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the council to address the skills needs of Morley. It’s important that we truly reflect the requirements of the community which is why we want to hear from as many people as possible in the local area.

“With the current challenges brought about by Covid-19, this inclusive campus will support people of all ages, whatever their learning needs, to improve their skills to take advantage of the new economic climate. Our goal is to build a strong foundation for local people to access sustainable employment or move onto higher level skills.”

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Some of the other commitments made through the town deal are to upgrade and create greenspace; improve connections to the train station; improve routes to encourage people to walk and cycle; refurbish Morley Town Hall; improve heritage buildings; work with the developer of the White Rose Office Park to build a smart cities innovation hub to focus on technologies relating to transport, air quality, climate, flooding, waste management and energy efficiency.

Executive member for Infrastructure and Climate at Leeds City Council, Coun Helen Hayden, said: “The ambition to make Morley a hub of innovation needs to be matched with a high-quality, local education offering that will allow people to gain valuable experience and qualifications that will surpass the needs and expectations of future employers.

“I am therefore pleased that, as a part of the Morley Town Deal, we can partner with Leeds City College and look to create an inspirational education establishment in the heart of the community.

“I encourage everyone in Morley to get involved in creating this valuable asset by completing the short online survey and telling us what course you would like to see offered.”

Morley Town Deal Board Chairman, Gerald Jennings, added: “Giving people local access to high- quality, inspirational courses is a key pillar in building a successful future for Morley.

“As a town board, we want to ensure that both the facilities and courses offered are what the people of Morley want and need, so it is key that as many people as possible get involved in the survey.”

The consultation, which is open now, asks potential learners what would prevent them from accessing education (such as child care or costs), what facilities a new campus would need (such as parking, on-site catering) and what skills they think are lacking in Morley (such as sciences, creative arts, land and animal science).

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