Doncaster will be at the forefront of a high speed rail revolution, after being chosen as the home of the new HS2 college.
The town is on track to provide the rail and engineering sector in the region and throughout the north of England with a huge boost, following confirmation from the Government today that Doncaster is one of two sites chosen for the elite training and research centre.
Birmingham has been chosen as the other site for the new National High Speed Rail College, which will train thousands of new engineers, who are needed to deliver billions of pounds worth of rail contracts over the coming decades, including the new HS2 high speed rail line.
The successful Centre for Rail Engineering and Technical Expertise (CREATE) bid, coordinated by Doncaster Council, involved a range of private sector businesses and was supported by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “I am delighted that our hard work to bring the new National High Speed Rail College to Doncaster has been a success and I would like to thank everyone who has been part of our bid, or supported it. Doncaster has always led the way in terms of cutting edge rail engineering and this decision confirms our position as the home of rail. It’s a great day for Doncaster.”
She added: “Bringing a national engineering college to Doncaster will be a game changer for the town and the Sheffield City Region, complementing the plans we have implemented to grow our thriving rail and engineering sector. It will offer local people, including our school leavers, the chance to gain high level engineering skills leading to well-paid jobs that are in high demand.”
Doncaster’s fast paced rail and engineering renaissance has stepped up a gear this year with over 10,000 people employed in the sector and firms having order books in excess of £1.7billion over the next five years. There is also strong interest from companies looking to locate to one of Britain’s most important railway centres.
“The College will enable our rail and engineering companies to build on their success, upskill our existing workforce and help attract new companies to the area who will benefit from being located amongst their supply chain. I want to keep this momentum up and will now be looking to complement the college with other new developments. Having earlier this year secured a new Enterprise Zone at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, which itself has the capacity for 2,000 engineering and manufacturing jobs, Doncaster is well on the way to regaining its reputation as an important centre of industry. I want to see a new generation of engineering and manufacturing in Doncaster, and this major success is a significant piece of the jigsaw in achieving our plan.”
The rail college will be built on a 5.1 acre site in Doncaster’s Lakeside, within walking distance of household names in the rail industry like DB Schenker, Volker Rail and Hitachi offering easy access for employers and students from across the UK.