Former student buys up Wakefield College campus

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Wakefield College has announced the sale of its Thornes Park campus to the city’s Penny Appeal charity.

The college, which is moving all of its operations to its City Campus, has been snapped up by former student Adeem Younis who launched his successful humanitarian charity in 2009.

College principal, Sam Wright said: “We are delighted to have agreed the sale of the Thornes Park Campus to such a fantastic charity and one with a strong community focus.

“Adeem’s time studying at the Thornes Park campus left a lasting mark on him, and I’d like to think we helped shape him into becoming the successful businessman and entrepreneur he is today. 

“We are extremely proud of what Adeem has achieved and are delighted we have secured a deal that benefits all parties involved.  We look forward to working with Penny Appeal during the transition period. 

“Plans are well underway and on schedule for the refurbishment of the former Registry of Deeds building, as well as the formation of the Creative and Digital Arts Centre at the City Campus. I’m certain the facilities at the Thornes Park Campus will be put to great use by Penny Appeal.”

The college first admitted it needed to move away from Thornes Park to make money back in 2015. 

Last year it opened its new £7M Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre (ASIC) in the city centre.

The Penny Appeal helps people in more than 30 crisis-hit countries, offering assistance for providing food, water and medical supplies.

It came after Mr Younis’ first successful venture - Singlemuslim.com - in which he set up the website to allow Muslim people to find love.

Mr Younis says that detailed plans on what he intends to use the old college campus for will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

He said: “I know the value and power of local investment, I am a product of it.

“As a businessman and humanitarian, I credit much of my success to my time at Wakefield College. Just as Wakefield invested in me, Penny Appeal is investing back.

“The Medina (simply meaning city or town), will be a unique landmark that represents a long term multi-million-pound strategy from Penny Appeal into the infrastructure and all communities of Wakefield.

“This commitment will create jobs across the region and a sustained contribution to the local economy.

“The charity has a long list of strategic partners and renowned ambassadors who will engage with the new site. These include The Baroness Warsi Foundation, Amir Khan Foundation and a number of initiatives linked to famous singer songwriter Cat Stevens.”