‘World class’ technical college gets green light

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WORK on a new Sheffield technical college to boost skills in specialist sectors - the first of its kind in Yorkshire – will begin in weeks after the ‘exciting’ plans were approved.

Hundreds of 14-19 year olds are expected to start studying specialised engineering, manufacturing and digital courses at Sheffield’s new University Technical College in September 2013.

A building contract could be signed this week, with work starting in September, after planners gave the bid unanimous approval yesterday.

The centre will be run by the city’s two universities and Sheffield College.

Heather MacDonald, Sheffield College chief executive, said after the meeting: “We are now on countdown to both opening the doors of this fantastic new facility to the first cohort of young people and to boosting skill levels for the advanced manufacturing, digital and new media sector in the Sheffield city region.”

The college will be located at the former Sidney Works at the juction of Matilda Street and Shoreham Street.

Planners heard how the college would have a rooftop sports pitch and just two car parking spaces – so most people would travel by public transport, walk or cycle.

Andrew Cropley, principal at Norton College, told the meeting the plans were ‘exciting’ and a ‘good news story’.

And Coun Leigh Bramall, the council’s business, skills and development chief, said the college would provide ‘world class expertise’, match skills to roles, and ‘bring in much needed jobs’.

He added: “The college will offer new opportunities to young people, boost Sheffield’s economy and will also mean local businesses can grow their own future employees.”

The rooftop pitch will be enclosed and have contained lighting that turns off by 10pm, the meeting heard in response to four objections.