VIP guests were invited to a bolt-tightening ceremony at Kirklees College’s Springfield Centre to mark progress with the building work.
The Springfield Centre is part of the college’s Dewsbury Learning Quarter – two new centres due to open next year in Dewsbury town centre to replace the current Dewsbury Centre and Batley School of Art.
The Dewsbury Learning Quarter project forms part of Kirklees Council’s wider regeneration program for Dewsbury through the North Kirklees Growth Zone.
It is being part funded through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), supported by Kirklees Council, The Heritage Lottery Fund, and The Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative.
The project has received investment through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
The Springfield Centre is a new purpose-built facility that is being developed by Kier Construction on Bradford Road, next to Lidl.
This centre will be mainly for young people and will offer a range of vocational programmes including specialist provision in science-related and technical areas.
The plans also involve transforming the iconic landmark Pioneer House into a centre for higher level skills, apprenticeships and post-19 studies, specialising in creative and digital media and art, healthcare, business and finance.
Guests at the event included Governors, staff and students from the college, Kirklees Council and Kier Construction.
They heard about the importance of the project and the partnership from Kier Operations Director for Yorkshire, Nick Shepherd, and Kirklees College principal Marie Gilluley, before being given a brief tour of the site.
Kier Operations Director for Yorkshire, Nick Shepherd, said: “We have a state of the art design and building moving forwards that will really put Kirklees College on the map in Dewsbury, and the progress shows the commitment of everybody in regards to making this happen.
“Kier doesn’t just build in these environments. We are very much committed to being a partner within the community and getting local people truly involved in the scheme.”
Kirklees College principal Marie Gilluley said: “The college has had a presence in Dewsbury for a long time and is absolutely committed to continuing that and looking forward to doing something that will be a very positive change.
“Our aim is to provide something for all the residents of Dewsbury and surrounding areas to make sure everyone has the right levels of skills and enterprise.
“We are really looking forward to the contribution the college is going to be able to make with these new buildings and I am sure it will take us forward into a vibrant and successful future.”
Kirklees College Health and Social Care students Kim Parker and Abigail Garforth also attended the event.
Kim said: “I’m looking forward to studying in a new modern building which will be nice and fresh.”
Abigail said she thought students would find the new buildings more convenient as they were closer to the town centre.
Naz Parkar, Kirklees Council Strategic Director of Economy and Infrastructure said: “The Springfield Centre and the redeveloped Pioneer House site will provide young people with the necessary skills to compete for the high quality jobs that will be on offer in the future.
“It will also bring 2,500 students closer to the town centre, providing town centre businesses with increased footfall on a daily basis.”