City Region’s University Technical College breaks new ground
A major step forward in the delivery of Sheffield City Region’s new £8.5m University Technical College (UTC) was celebrated today with a special ‘ground breaking’ ceremony to mark the start of construction on the project.
Master Cutler, Pam Liversidge OBE and Cllr Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, joined contractor, Wates Construction, and project sponsor, The Sheffield College, to mark the start of the work.
The college, which will become the first UTC in Yorkshire and one of only 18 across the UK, will have a capacity for 600 students aged 14 to 19 years. The facility will provide specialist vocational learning within the engineering and digital sectors.
Once complete, the facility will become the first of its kind for Yorkshire and will see the college work collaboratively with local businesses to train and up-skill the region’s future workforce.
Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield Council, said “We have always been passionate about ensuring that the city has a highly skilled workforce and the UTC helps us to work closely with businesses to ensure that the next generation of workers in Sheffield have the right skills for the job.”
Nick Crew, Principal of Sheffield UTC, commented: “It is a very exciting time as work commences on this fantastic facility. Interest in the UTC is really growing amongst the region’s young people and this is testament to what will be achieved here, a state of the art institution that will excel in providing work-based learning via an employer-led curriculum.”
Pam Liversidge, Master Cutler, added: I am delighted to be involved in the ‘ground breaking’ for the University Technical College. We in this region have a proud tradition of technology, engineering and innovation. The UTC along with other local initiatives will help to stimulate interest in these areas and give young people the passion for innovation as well as the entrepreneurial spirit, which will be so vital to us in the future. Much hard work has gone into winning the right to have the UTC here and we, in business, must put our full support behind it to ensure the best result and enjoy the advantages it brings.”
Andrew Cropley, principal of Norton College and chair of the UTC Academy Trust, said: “As the UTC starts to take on a physical form and becomes more than a concept I hope it will encourage even more employers to get involved by leading projects or sponsoring students. I’m sure the commencement of work on site will inspire young people across the Sheffield city region to explore the exciting opportunities the UTC can offer them to continue their education and begin their future careers.”
Wates commenced construction on Sheffield UTC following its appointment as main contractor for the project in May this year. The three-storey building has been innovatively designed by HLM Architects and will include practical learning provision, as well a five-aside size football pitch on the roof to maximise space at its city centre location.
Phil Harrison, Managing Director for Wates Construction Midlands and North, commented: “We have pooled our extensive knowledge and experience in education to develop, alongside our architects HLM, a groundbreaking centre of innovation that puts Yorkshire once again at the very front of original thinking. From the outset of this project we will fulfill our commitment to providing a raft of local training opportunities, which will significantly underpin the UTC’s ethos of developing the skills of the city’s young people.”
The project has been made possible through the financial support of Sheffield City Council, which bought the Porter Brook Site on which the UTC will be built, alongside lead sponsor The Sheffield College. The college has also received £9.9m capital funding from the Department for Education.
Planning permission for the facility was granted in August this year and the project is due for completion for September 2013. The new-build college will also include the former Victorian Sydney Works building, which will be carefully refurbished.
For information on how to apply to attend Sheffield University Technical College please visit www.sheffieldutc.co.uk.