Technical centre boost for City Learning Quarter plans

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£7.7m funding has been secured from the West Midlands Combined Authority for a new City of Wolverhampton College technical centre.

Planning permission is already in place for it to be built at the college’s Wellington Road site in Bilston.

The centre has been designed for engineering and motor vehicle studies – focusing on new electric, hybrid and traditional vehicles.

It is phase one of the City Learning Quarter masterplan, which will also see a new city centre campus built, subject to further funding bids and the sale of the college’s existing main campus on Paget Road.

The City Learning Quarter city centre site will be built around the Old Hall Street and St. George’s Parade area.

City of Wolverhampton Council’s Stephen Simkins said: “This is another important step towards our vision of a City Learning Quarter.

“These plans will transform the learning environment for our students and residents. It will also offer opportunities to access a new high-end workforce within our city, especially in Bilston.

“We are working hard with City of Wolverhampton College to ensure we not only deliver a vibrant education hub where we improve the city’s learning, apprenticeship and employment offers, but also that we retain our best talent, rather than losing people to different parts of the region.

“The new facilities at Bilston and in the city centre are all part of the wider investment across the city and I have every confidence that when our plans become a reality, we will be creating an environment where everyone can flourish.”

The two-storey technical centre at the Bilston site will feature workshops for engineers, motor vehicle studies and welding, while there will also be ICT classrooms and general teaching areas.

Currently, the Bilston campus is home to construction and sports courses.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, added: “It’s critical that we equip local people with the skills that employers need – particularly at a time when many are concerned about their future due to the economic impact of the pandemic. And it’s important that people across the region have the opportunities to get the skills required to seize the digital and ‘green job’ opportunities of the future.

“Through our adult education budget, the West Midlands Combined Authority funds our local colleges to retrain and upskill residents to secure jobs in growth sectors such as green technology, health and social care, construction and infrastructure.

“So, it’s great that we’ve been able to fund City of Wolverhampton College’s new technical centre, which will enable local people to enjoy a rewarding career and provide a highly skilled workforce for our region’s businesses. This is a great example of how the West Midlands Combined Authority is working in partnership with local authorities across the region to benefit our citizens.”