Learning Quarter’s £8m training centre reaches milestone

The first phase of the construction at the council’s City Learning Quarter masterplan is now fully weathertight, marking a milestone in the project.

Construction of the City of Wolverhampton College’s advanced technology and automotive centre started in October by contractors Speller Metcalfe and aims to be completed by July 2024.

Progress includes the steel framework installed, the ground and first-floor slabs poured, block work for the external walls and internal walls laid, the building fully clad and the roof installed.

The new training facility aims to secure hundreds of jobs and create learning opportunities for students, specialising in engineering and automotive, including electric vehicles.

Its construction is being funded by £7.7m from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), with the remainder from the Black Country LED.

City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “The City Learning Quarter is a key priority for the city, and it is great to see the progress being made with construction on phase 1 at the college’s Wellington Road campus in Bilston. The Advanced Technology and Automotive Centre will provide a top-class training facility in what is a rapidly growing economic sector, creating learning and job opportunities for people of all ages in our city and beyond.

“Overall, the City Learning Quarter will transform the learning environment for our students and residents and see them flourish. We are working hard with the 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.”

Mal Cowgill, principal and CEO of City of Wolverhampton College said: “We are delighted to have reached such a major milestone in the construction of our Advanced Technology and Automotive Centre, which will play a vital role in creating the industry leaders of the future in Wolverhampton and beyond.

“The centre will enable us to expand the range of courses we offer and give our students access to industry-standard state-of-the-art training facilities, which will equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to work in their chosen industries and the qualities employers look for when recruiting staff.

“We are also incredibly pleased that the wealth of learning opportunities that the centre will provide has already started with the build itself. Together with Speller Metcalfe, we have been able to offer our construction students a variety of work experience opportunities during each construction phase of the project, with even more set to be created as we move towards completion.”