VIP guests were invited to leave their mark in a Steel Signing event at Kirklees College’s Springfield Centre.
At the event, which marked the official “topping out” of the building, guests signed messages on a steel sheet that will be hung inside the new centre to inspire future students.
The Springfield Centre is part of the college’s Dewsbury Learning Quarter – two new centres due to open in Dewsbury town centre in 2018/19 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 DLQ has received £11.1m 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 courses 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, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Kier Construction.
After the steel signing ceremony, guests enjoyed a tour to see progress on the building.
Nick Shepherd, Operations Director for Kier Construction Northern, said: “The steelwork signing event records another key milestone in the continued success of driving through this successful construction programme delivery. The joint signing truly forges the positive collaboration with all stakeholders involved with this project.
“The building is now starting to take shape and will bring to the town a fantastic education facility for both Kirklees College and the people of Dewsbury.”
Kirklees College Centre Principal, Dewsbury Learning Quarter, Melanie Brooke said: “This exciting development will provide the community of North Kirklees with state-of-the-art facilities across two very different but complementary centres.
“Working with local employers and partners, the new centres will help us to ensure that the college provides young people with the opportunities they deserve within an exemplary learning environment.”
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “The delivery of these state-of-art facilities are an essential part of our joint Delivery Agreement with Kirklees College to enable them to continue to deliver exceptional technical and employer-led provision.
“By investing £11.1m into this development we are providing more and better facilities for our City Region’s learners to have the right skills for fulfilling and economically viable careers in our priority skills sectors of construction, digital and health and care. I am delighted to see the next stage of Dewsbury Learning Quarter underway.”
Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member jointly responsible for Regeneration, said: “The Springfield Centre is an essential part of the Dewsbury Learning Quarter and the wider North Kirklees Growth Zone initiative and demonstrates the council’s commitment to the regeneration of the town.”
Cllr Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member jointly responsible for Regeneration, said: “With the new building being located closer to the centre it will provide students with easy access to shops, cafes, and the rail and bus stations. In addition there will be thousands of students passing through the town during the week providing opportunities for local businesses.”