Dudley College gets green light for £32m technology institute
Dudley College's bid to build a £32.5 million institute of technology near the Black Country Living Museum has today been approved by the Government.
The institute on Castle Hill will cater for more than 2,000 learners by 2025.
Work is due to start in October with the sprawling three-storey building expected to open in September 2021.
It will focus on apprenticeships and offer courses in advanced manufacturing, modern construction methodologies and medical engineering.
The institute will be built on a 4,750 sq m plot on Castle Hill by the planned new Metro stop, the very Light Rail Innovation Centre and the Black Country Living Museum.
The college's chief executive Lowell Williams, said: "This is a marvellous opportunity for the people and businesses of the Black Country and the wider West Midlands region.
"They will have access to a national leading skills centre right on their doorstep. The role of the IoT will be to develop the technical skills base of the region in sectors where there are skills shortages and high demand.
"It will help both individuals and businesses to thrive, and provide a further boost the regional economy."
The project will cost £32.5m, with the Government stumping up £16.8m. Dudley College was one of a number of college's to bid for cash as part of a £170m Government funding pot for new skills institutions.
'Brilliant news for Dudley'
Dudley North MP Ian Austin, who lobbied ministers to get the project off the ground, said: "This is brilliant news for Dudley.
"I've always said we need to make education and skills our number one priority because there'll be massive growth and lots of well-paid jobs in new hi-tech industries over the next 20 years, so this will help us develop the skills we need to attract new industries and new jobs, help local businesses grow, give youngsters a first class start and help adults get new jobs too."
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who wrote to Education Minister Anne Milton in support of the bid, said: “This is fantastic news for Dudley and for the wider West Midlands, and I am delighted for Dudley College.
“The Dudley IoT will boost people’s skills, and offer great courses in industries where our regional economy is booming.
“It will help local people gain great qualifications, so they have a better chance of getting a rewarding career in sectors which are growing very quickly.
"The IoT will also support the introduction of T-levels and help underpin growth in apprenticeships, to support our regional aspiration that everyone has the opportunity to access great training and great careers in the West Midlands.”
College bosses are due to attend a national workshop for providers who have been awarded IoT contracts next month.