The National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster is one step closer after Doncaster Council received the planning application for consideration.
A decision on the application is expected towards the end of the year. Subject to the necessary approvals, construction of the 7,200 square metre three-storey building is scheduled to start in April 2016 and open its doors in September 2017.
The National College for High Speed Rail, which was established in July this year, will provide specialist vocational training for the future generations of engineers.
It represents the next step in developing the highly skilled workforce needed to build HS2, the largest infrastructure project Britain has seen for decades, as well as future rail infrastructure projects.
In September 2014, the Government announced the college would be jointly located at two sites, one in Doncaster and the other in Birmingham. Since this announcement, all parties have worked closely to reach this important stage in the project’s development.
Doncaster Council’s project team has carried out significant work in partnership with Birmingham City Council and HS2 Ltd. Willmott Dixon was appointed the lead contractor for design and build of the college and Bond Bryan Architects and other consultants have pulled together the appropriate feasibility studies for the modern building at Doncaster’s Lakeside campus.
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “It’s now less than two years until the ground-breaking National College for High Speed Rail opens its doors for the first intake of students.
“From the design concept, which was shaped in consultation with the private sector, you can see how impressive this new national college is going to be.”
HS2 Ltd will support up to 100,000 jobs nationwide, create around 25,000 jobs during construction of Phases One and Two and create 2,000 apprenticeships. The college is the only way to provide world-class training for this size of workforce to build, operate and maintain the railway.
Mrs Jones, commented: “The National College for High Speed Rail will offer opportunities for our existing world-class rail firms to flourish, entice new private sector investment and firms to the town and importantly drive through economic growth and jobs not just for the borough of Doncaster but also the Sheffield City Region, Yorkshire and the north of England.”
Earlier this month, Chancellor George Osborne announced the Sheffield City Region will work with the Government to achieve their ambitions for a National Institute for Infrastructure within Doncaster, as part of the proposed Sheffield City Region devolution deal.
Mrs Jones added: “If the devolution deal goes through, Doncaster will become a training hub which provides the skills needed to deliver the UK’s future infrastructure projects with the National College for High Speed Rail expanded into a new National Institute of Infrastructure. These are truly exciting times for Doncaster!”
Terry Morgan, chairman of the Corporate Board for the National College for High Speed Rail said: “The National College for High Speed Rail will have a major impact on the ability of the UK rail supply industry to develop a suitable and sustainable workforce to deliver HS2 and other infrastructure projects.
“This essential training facility will produce the multi-skilled specialist workforce required to address the industry’s current and future skills needs.
“The submission of the planning application for the construction of the College at Lakeside in Doncaster is welcome news.”