Council gives Doncaster rail college the green light

An artist impression of how the rail college could look designed by Bond Bryan Architects.

An artist impression of how the rail college could look designed by Bond Bryan Architects.

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Plans for a rail college in Doncaster have steamed ahead, after the council approved support and land for the scheme this morning.

Doncaster council’s ruling cabinet has now given the scheme the green light, after the town was selected from a host of nationwide bidders to become home the prestigious rail centre.

Aerial photograph of the Rail College site at Doncaster Lakeside.

Aerial photograph of the Rail College site at Doncaster Lakeside.

Lakeside has been confirmed as the official site for the college.

With the rail industry expected to grow further through electrification and huge levels of investment in modernisation, it is hoped that the College will be the catalyst for attracting additional household names in the sector to Doncaster and the wider region.

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said she was ‘delighted’ to be able to welcome the rail college to Doncaster.

She continued: “It’s right and proper that Doncaster won the bid with its historic rail background and with more and more companies coming to the town.

“It’s very much a feather in the cap of the young people of this borough.

“We fought hard to bring the National High Speed Rail College to Doncaster and it will be one of the most important investments in the borough for many years, providing fantastic opportunities for local people to secure highly skilled, well-paid engineering and manufacturing jobs.”

“Doncaster has a rich history of rail innovation with internationally acclaimed locomotives like Flying Scotsman and Mallard designed, built and maintained in the town. We have always been at the forefront of rail and the College will further enhance our reputation as a rail town.”

“The College will be the fulcrum for substantial growth in the rail and associated sectors, delivering far-reaching economic benefits for Doncaster, the Sheffield City Region, Yorkshire, the North-East and beyond,

The new National High Speed Rail College will be located across two sites – Doncaster and Birmingham.

The council will be in charge of the construction of the college and the land will be provided through either a long-term lease or as a gift.

A recent study by the National Skills Academy for Rail Engineering (NSARE) showed the rail industry needs about 1,000 apprentice engineers a year and no more than 600 a year are being created. This gap will be exacerbated by HS2.

HS2 is the Government’s strategy for delivering a high speed rail network for Britain, creating improved rail links between London and Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

The college will lead the sector in designing and delivering the technical skills needed for the scheme, as well as for wider engineering projects.

Building of the college is expected to start in the summer of next year with the college opening for the 2017-18 academic year.