OUR first Skills capital investment project has now been completed and a new era has started at Harrogate College'.
We invested £3million as part of an overall £6m redevelopment of the college, after proposing it for Growth Deal funding from central government. The project was also co-funded by the Hull College Group – owners of Harrogate College.
Previously spread over two sites, Harrogate College’s buildings have been brought together onto one site, with the main building transformed into a high street. Featuring a training bistro, hair salon and beauty salons and a café, it is open to the public, giving students a taste of a real life working environment, essential for their training and confidence.
The redevelopment also includes two state of the art science laboratories and a large art and design department that incorporates photography, fashion, recording and art studios - all with views of the rolling Yorkshire countryside.
The new Technology Centre provides space for mechanical, electrical, welding and joinery workshops. It is a purpose built environment, enabling students to access top of the range equipment similar to that used in the workplace. This includes electrical installation booths sponsored by Dunnington Electricals and joinery equipment sponsored by Howdens Joinery.
Dr. Ruth Smith, chair of the LEP Skills Board said:
‘’We are delighted to see the first project in our Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Capital Programme now complete. A growing economy needs businesses that can recruit people with high quality skills, and having colleges that are fit for purpose is crucial to that.
"The facilities at Harrogate College demonstrate the skills our students need for the future and how we are planning to meet our future economy’s needs.”
Principal of Harrogate College
Deborah Forsyth-Conroy said:
’It’s an extremely exciting time for Harrogate College and our students as this redevelopment represents the dawn of an area that aspires to match the stature and reputation for quality in the town of Harrogate.
"The investment supports our commitment to securing increased employment opportunities in the area and enhancing our ability to develop career packages which include a curriculum which meets local priorities.”
Whilst investing in skills infrastructure is only a small part of our overall work, we have also invested in Askham Bryan College – where new agri-technology training facilities will be open to students shortly. In addition, we have invested in equipment for Selby College, and we are working on other projects expected to come to fruition in 2017.
Also read the thoughts from our chairman Barry Dodd CBE, on how we are working with colleges for a more highly skilled workforce