SCR backs new Rotherham University Centre

Published 2nd August 2017 at 1:40pm

 Rotherham College has appointed Willmott Dixon to build its new campus, University Centre Rotherham (UCR).

The £10million Centre, which has received £3,500,000 from the Sheffield City Region (SCR), is due to open in Autumn 2018. It will be built at Doncaster Gate in the town centre, close to the main Rotherham College campus.

The University Centre will provide higher level learning in areas such as IT services and digital design; health care – both nursing and technical roles; business and enterprise including management, legal and accountancy services, sales and entrepreneurial skills; construction; and engineering, where retiring workers will need to be replaced.

Local employers have been consulted and will be closely involved in designing courses, which will include degrees, higher apprenticeships, and HNC/Ds. They will also create links to live vacancies, and tap into professional training and updating for their workforce.

The new centre is expected to bring a wealth of education and training opportunities to the region, building upon their existing range of degrees, higher-level courses and professional training, and will offer a dedicated facility for university students with specialist teaching, study and exhibition spaces, a library, café and social areas.

John Connolly, the Chief Executive of the RNN Group, which is the parent organisation for Rotherham College and the University Centre Rotherham said:

“We are delighted to have taken a big step forward in delivering this fantastic project, which will offer so much to our region’s students and employers. It will be a major boost for us in addressing the skills gaps that employers are expecting to see in the near future, as the economy continues to grow.

“As part of the Rotherham Plan 2025, the University Centre Rotherham will be an important factor in helping to bring additional investment and employment to the area, and will contribute to the regeneration of the town centre. We will continue to work with our university partners and key employers to extend the range of degrees and professional courses we can offer, to ensure our students have the right skills and qualifications to be part of that brighter future for the region.

“We are also pleased to be working with Willmott Dixon, as a contractor and employer with a clear commitment to sustainability and community engagement. Building work will begin over the summer and we remain on track for completion in autumn 2018.”

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chair of the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is an important and welcome development which will help both adult students and our regional businesses. We have backed the funding because we know there is a skills gap in the region and we want to help address it.

“This investment in infrastructure will help companies who will be able to recruit skilled workers and grow their businesses, creating more jobs.”

Director for Willmott Dixon in Yorkshire, Andrew Hurcomb said:

“As a local company based in Yorkshire with a strong track record of work in Rotherham, which includes the role of our sister company Fortem maintaining homes in the town, we are proud to have been appointed by the RNN Group to take forward its plans to create University Centre Rotherham. It will provide important skills that will benefit the local economy for years to come and we’ll also build strong links with the university centre to encourage many of its students to choose a career in construction. Also, during the project, we will work closely with local companies in and around Rotherham to ensure as many as possible are involved with the building work.”

The University Centre Rotherham forms a key part of the Rotherham Plan 2025, a regeneration strategy for Rotherham, led by the Rotherham Together Partnership.

Councillor Chris Read, who is the Chair of the Partnership and Leader of Rotherham Council added:

“Having our own University Centre in Rotherham is a fantastic opportunity for local people to study at degree level.  This is one of our ‘game changers’ in the Rotherham Plan; to help local people gain higher level skills which will increase their employability. It will also help local employers to find the skilled staff they need.”

For updates on the project, visit You can also find more about the colleges and organisations within the RNN Group by visiting


Notes to editors

  • The RNN Group is an educational and training provider, meeting the needs of thousands of employers, school leavers and adults every year.
  • On 1st February 2016, Rotherham College of Arts and Technology and North Nottinghamshire College merged to form the RNN Group. On 1st February 2017, Dearne Valley College in Rotherham, and the RNN Group also merged.
  • The Group has four campuses, including Rotherham College’s town centre and Dinnington campuses, North Notts College’s Worksop and Retford sites and Dearne Valley College’s Wath-upon-Dearne campus. In autumn 2018, the Group will also launch the University Centre Rotherham to deliver degrees and higher level training, which will be located on Doncaster Gate in Rotherham town centre.
  • Over 15,000 learners annually
  • Supported by over 1,000 staff
  • Placed with over 1,000 employers
  • 4,000 Apprentices
  • The RNN Group is made up of the following organisations; Rotherham College, North Notts College, Dearne Valley College, RNN Training, The National Fluid Power Centre, Create Skills Ltd, Charnwood Training Ltd and Aston Recruitment and Training Ltd.


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