Extra funds secured for healthcare education campus

More funding has been secured for the multi-million-pound educational campus next to the major new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital (MMUH) being developed in Smethwick.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has agreed in principle to make a £5m investment into the Midland Met Learning Campus which will train more than 1,280 students a year. 

Bought together by Sandwell Council, The Learning Works, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, Sandwell College, University of Wolverhampton and Aston University, the Midland Met Learning Campus project will be a major new skills resource providing training in healthcare and healthcare-related positions from entry-level to level 7 skills and will create more than 130 jobs.

£18.6m will be invested into the Midland Met Learning Campus project, with £12.9m coming from the Towns Fund and £5.7m in additional funding from a number of sources including the SWB NHS Trust.

MMUH under construction

£988m MMUH was scheduled to open this spring, already six years behind schedule, with work on the Smethwick site being hampered by the collapse of construction firm Carillion in 2018 and the Covid-19 pandemic.

When open, MMUH will be equipped with 736 beds, 13 operating theatres, an emergency department, 15 delivery rooms for maternity services, and a midwife-led birthing unit. 

Its opening has been delayed again, until Autumn 2024. 

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, and Chair of the WMCA, said: “There are huge employment opportunities in the health service but it needs people with the right skills. 

“That’s why the WMCA invests tens of millions of pounds each year in providing training courses that can help people get work in high demand sectors like health but also in construction, digital and even our fast-growing film and TV industry. 

“The new Midland Met Learning Campus will give thousands of residents the chance to train and develop skills vital to both our local NHS and wider economy.  

“It will help us close the region’s skills gap and increase opportunities for local people so I’m pleased to see money from both the WMCA and government helping to fund it.”