Redeveloped college building to become £15m Institute of Technology

A multi-million pound refurbishment will turn a historic Barnsley College building into a centre of innovation and technical education for South Yorkshire.

The South Yorkshire Institute of Technology (IoT) (SYIoT), one of 21 IoTs nationally, will see one of its key facilities fully renovated to house the SYIoT in the college’s University Centre on Church Street, in Barnsley town centre.

This art deco building – formerly Barnsley Mining and Technical College – will be transformed into a modern IoT.

Funding for the project is a combination of Department for Education (DfE) regional investment, and college capital funds.

The college was also successful with a Salix decarbonisation capital bid for sustainability upgrades throughout the building.

Barnsley College principal and chief executive officer, David Akeroyd, said: “This is a real landmark moment for higher-level education in Barnsley and the wider region, and we’re pleased to get contracts signed and now be able to deliver on our vision.

“The building work is set to start in earnest in May. What’s particularly important to us is that we retain our original concept of completely transforming the inside of the building into a future-focused learning environment for our Level 4 and Level 5 technical provision.

“This is an exciting time for the college and all our partners involved in the South Yorkshire IoT – as we look ahead to a future in which our hard work has led to increased opportunities for retraining and upskilling, more accessible and higher-quality jobs, and a productive workforce who are skilled in the right areas.”

Originally the Barnsley Mining and Technical College, the Church Street building cost £110,012 to build and furnish in 1932. It has had various uses but has maintained an educational focus throughout its lifespan.

Once works have been completed, it will house higher level technical qualifications in engineering, construction and IT/digital subjects.

The heart of the project is the new atrium, and a combination of learning resource and study zones set over three mezzanine floors with a glazed roof above and a café and breakout area at ground floor level.

GF Tomlinson has been appointed as the main contractor. Consultants AECOM have been retained as a key partner to support the college’s Major Projects Team as lead technical advisers through the construction phase.

Adrian Grocock, managing director at GF Tomlinson, added: “We are happy to be appointed as the main contractor on the South Yorkshire Institute of Technology.

“This state-of-the-art facility will provide students at Barnsley College with a first-class, modern learning environment, while breathing new life into a well-known historical building in the heart of the town.

“Through our collaboration with the client team, we look forward to turning Barnsley College’s vision into reality, transforming the site into one of their most sustainable campuses and delivering a world class technical education centre the whole region can be proud of.”