Skills Hub aims to put town at the heart of high-tech manufacturing

A new state-of-the-art skills hub is to be established in Brighouse, supporting high-tech manufacturing and creating opportunities for local people and businesses.

The Industry 4.0 Skills Hub is supported by Calderdale Council as part of the Brighouse Deal, with about £650,000 of Town Deal funding being invested in the project.

From April, work is beginning to transform Kirkdale House on the Armytage Road Industrial Estate into the skills hub which will feature high-tech equipment to showcase augmented reality, advanced manufacturing and robotics.

Calderdale College is leading on the delivery of the project alongside the University of Huddersfield, Textile Centre of Excellence, West Yorkshire Manufacturing Services and Calderdale & Kirklees Manufacturing Alliance.

The hub is due to open in September 2023 for the new academic year and will have opportunities for 70 apprenticeships.

There will be a range of short training programmes to support small and medium sized businesses, helping them to upskill their current workforce, improve productivity and increase innovation.

It is the first of five projects to be delivered in Brighouse as part of the Brighouse Town Deal, with £19.1m to be invested in the town as part of the Government’s Towns Fund.

Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for towns, engagement and public health, Councillor Sarah Courtney, said: “As part of the Brighouse Town Deal project, we’re excited to support the plans for the Industry 4.0 Skills Hub.

“The facility will include the latest technology and equipment to support the growth of digital and manufacturing skills, benefiting existing local businesses and individuals through the planned apprenticeship programme.

“This dedicated facility will put Brighouse at the heart of high-tech manufacturing, creating opportunities in this highly skilled sector.

“It will also support our ambitions for thriving towns by boosting employment opportunities and harnessing the borough’s existing talent and enterprising nature.”

Cllr Howard Blagbrough, co-chair of the Brighouse Town Deal Board, said: “The Industry 4.0 Skills Hub will be the first project delivered as part of the £19.1m Town Deal, and is a symbol of what we hope The Brighouse Deal will mean for our town.

“By providing more training opportunities for individuals, support for businesses looking to modernise and grow, and a focus for collaboration for the firms that are the engine room of our economy, we are confident the Hub will be a catalyst for investment.

“Brighouse has a strong manufacturing heritage, so it is absolutely right we put it at the heart of our future as we write a new chapter in the story of our town.”

Ebrahim Dockrat, director of commercial services & partnerships at Calderdale College, added: “The Brighouse Town Deal investment has come at a time when engineering businesses need it most, as the country faces significant economic and skills challenges.

“We are happy to be leading the work with partners so we can deliver innovative apprenticeships and training that will support employers with optimising their efficiency and productivity, helping them achieve more and do so in a competitive way using the latest technologies.”

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