College project is underway

WORK on Sheffield's newest further education college is underway - after cabinet minister John Denham officially cut the first sod on the site.

A 60 million project to rebuild Sheffield College's Castle campus was given a send off by the new Secretary of State for the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

The campus off Granville Road will be the region's very first purpose-built vocational college.

Mr Denham is in charge of a new department which brings together responsibilities for science and innovation with further and higher education and skills.

He was welcomed to the college by acting principal Chris Jones who explained the scale of the work involved.

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    They then donned hard hats and steel boots before taking a tour of the building site where contractors Finnegans invited Mr Denham to take to the digger cab for a bird's eye view of the works.

    Mr Jones said: "The Secretary of State was clearly delighted to see the plans for what is going to be an unequalled vocational training facility that will serve Sheffield and the region.

    "The redevelopment and transformation of the Castle College has become a reality which is really great news for our students and for employers in the region too."

    Mr Denham said he was delighted to visit Sheffield College at a time when it was celebrating record A-level results.

    "The new building is a major investment in post-16 Education in Sheffield and it recognises the importance of developing a skills base suitable for the future needs of Sheffield and the region," he added.

    Mr Denham later visited the University of Sheffield where he met Professor Bob Boucher, the Vice-Chancellor, and other senior figures.