A work by Antony Gormley will be loaned to Kirklees College’s new Pioneer Higher Skills Centre in Dewsbury when it opens later this year.
The sculpture, created by Angel of the North sculptor Gormley, will be situated on the rooftop of the Victorian building, formerly known as Pioneer House, which will become a specialist higher education centre designed to drive the improvement of education and increase employability skills in the local area.
The project has been part funded through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and the LEP, supported by Kirklees Council, The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative.
The historic Victorian Grade II Listed building has been transformed into a state-of-the-art facility as part of a £14million restoration project, with many heritage features maintained to provide a unique study environment. In addition to the new workshops, classrooms and IT suites, there is an extensive Learning Resource Centre to support learners in their studies. The centre also boasts a Hair and Beauty salon, community facilities, meeting rooms, conferencing, bistro, coffee shop and dedicated social spaces.
Oliver Boothroyd, Creative Lecturer in Art and Design at Kirklees College said:
“Bringing an Antony Gormley sculpture to Kirklees College has been in planning for over three years and we are thrilled to host such an iconic piece. Our early discussions with his team explained the heritage and regeneration work in Dewsbury and was key to bringing this project to life.
We have worked in partnership with the Arts Council and Kirklees Council to bring this work to our new Pioneer Higher Skills Centre and also the local community with the launch of our school’s engagement project in Kirklees. The project will open up opportunities to people of all ages locally and beyond by increasing awareness of public sculpture and the arts.”
Councillor Peter McBride, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration said:
“I’m delighted world-class sculptor, Antony Gormley, has loaned a work to Dewsbury.
Key public artwork like this is sure to create a new focal point in the town centre, creating discussions amongst shoppers, enticing visitors and evoking ideas for budding artists of the future.”