Building work will start on a new multi-million pound multi-storey college campus in Leeds city centre’s booming cultural quarter this summer after contracts were officially signed this week.
The £33.4m scheme put forward by Leeds City College was given the go-ahead last November.
And today the college announced it has officially signed the contracts to purchase land at Quarry Hill.
This will allow the development of a new 15,000 metre sq campus that will "revolutionise" the college’s digital and creative arts and health science provisions and house expansion for Leeds College of Music, part of the Leeds City College group.
Part-funded by the college, the project received the £33.4m 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.
Construction work will start during July 2017 with an estimated completion date of June 2019, ready for the 2019-2020 academic year.
The 11-storey development, neighbouring the West Yorkshire Playhouse, will include science labs, computing and digital technology labs, specialist childcare training facilities, practical rooms, lecture theatres, dance, art, and film studios, and a performance theatre. It will also house new recording studio facilities for music courses.
Jane Pither, deputy principal for corporate services at Leeds City College, said: “This exciting campus in the heart of Leeds will be a dynamic and contemporary learning environment that meets the needs of the local economy.
“It will highlight our commitment to providing exceptional learning spaces and enhance and complement this cultural quarter of the city.”
Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the LEP, added: “We’re delighted that Quarry Hill - one of the projects in our total £79 million investment in further education infrastructure across the city region and Leeds City College’s second major new city centre site - has begun to be realised.
“This transformational and ambitious development will give students from Leeds, Bradford and the wider city region access to world class, state-of-the-art training facilities, allowing the College to closer align the powerhouse skills of our future workforce with the needs of our city region businesses.”
Quarry Hill will be the college’s second major new city centre site, to add to its Hunslet Road Printworks campus development. The £10m final phase of the Printworks Campus, a state-of-the-art centre for digital, IT, business, and computer science training, has also received funding through the LEP’s Growth Deal and is set to open in September 2017.