£8 million boost for Wolverhampton College car training centre

A new college centre that will help keep the car industry revving in the region has been given an £8 million boost.

An artist's impression of how the technical centre will look at Wolverhampton College's Wellington Road campus
An artist's impression of how the technical centre will look at Wolverhampton College's Wellington Road campus

The two-storey technical centre in Bilston will cater for hundreds of students once built and it is hoped they will provide the workforce of the future for key local companies like Jaguar Land Rover.

West Midlands Combined Authority has now handed the project £7.7m to help make it a reality.

The site for engineering and motor vehicle studies will focus on vehicles including electric and hybrid cars.

It will be built at Wolverhampton College’s Wellington Road campus and forms phase one of an education masterplan across the city that will also see the college move out of its long-standing Paget Road campus into a new learning quarter in Bilston Street in the city centre.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “It’s great that we’ve been able to fund Wolverhampton College’s new technical centre, which will enable local people to enjoy a rewarding career and provide a highly skilled workforce for our region’s businesses.”

The site already has planning permission and once completed it will feature workshops for engineers, motor vehicle studies and welding amid classrooms and general teaching areas.

The Bilston campus is currently offers construction and sports courses.

Councillor Stephen Simkins, Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city economy, said: “This is another important step towards our vision of a City Learning Quarter.

“We are working hard with Wolverhampton College to ensure we not only deliver a vibrant education hub where we improve the city’s learning, apprenticeship and employment offers, but also that we retain our best talent, rather than losing people to different parts of the region.”

The overall City Learning Project, subject to further funding bids and the sale of the college’s existing main campus, will be built around the Old Hall Street and St George’s Parade area.

Malcolm Cowgill, college principal and chief executive, said: “The college has ambitious plans to transform our student environment, and this is the first stage of the planned development.

"Our Wellington Road site will provide first class facilities in key areas of employment allowing Wolverhampton residents to gain the skills required to flourish in the Advanced Engineering, Electric Vehicles and Green Technology sectors.”

Chiefs say the City Learning Quarter project will generate and safeguard 750 jobs and it is forecast that approximately 45,000 people will benefit from learning there over a 10-year period.

Wolverhampton Council announced last week that it has bid for £20 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to help deliver the vision.

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