Doors open to the new Pioneer Higher Skills Centre


Aerial image of Pioneer building

Kirklees College has opened its doors to students at the new Pioneer Higher Skills Centre in Dewsbury, a new learning facility dedicated to higher skills and higher education.

This landmark day was celebrated by welcoming students to the centre with banners, flags, balloons and college merchandise. Students arrived at designated time slots on Monday 23 November and were shown to their new classrooms by tutors following the Department for Education and social distancing guidelines.  

The iconic Victorian Grade II listed building is integral to the history of the town and the workforce behind the new centre has worked hard on the restoration project to ensure its history can continue to be celebrated as a state-of-the-art learning facility that will once again serve and provide new opportunities to the people of Dewsbury.

The Pioneer Higher Skills Centre will offer a wide range of vocational courses in areas such as art and design, business, computing, counselling, teaching and hair and beauty, all of which are taught by industry professionals to equip learners with the knowledge and skills employers demand.  

The centre will also support the wider community, with the hair and beauty salon, café and conferences spaces being open to the public so they can contribute to the social and economic development of the town.

Zulakha Desai, Head of Higher Education and Higher Skills, said:

“When we started this project, it was a pledge to the people of Dewsbury and beyond to revive this historic landmark. It has been our duty to preserve this building that holds many memories of the past and more memories to come. 

It really is a learning environment like no other, a transformation of a unique building that is full of historical features and now packed with technology to future proof our direction and vision, it really is a blend of careful restoration and innovative technology for our students and our expert lecturers.

There’s no doubt that Pioneer House has personality, and it encapsulates us as a provision – we are full of personality, we are steadfast and we are creative. 

We plan to hold a public open day next year once restrictions are lifted and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Higher Education and Higher Skills at Kirklees College.”

For more information about the Pioneer Higher Skills Centre, please visit www.kirkleescollege.ac.uk/pioneer-higher-skills-centre/.

[Drone image taken by Rotorgraph]

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