The former Springfield Brewery site in Wolverhampton is set to become home to the new multi million pound, West Midlands Construction UTC (WMCUTC) for 14 to 19 year olds, the Construction Industry Training Board announced today.
The UTC (University Technical College) will open its doors in September 2015 at fully refurbished premises in the city.
Subject to planning permission, it will then move to the new build on the former brewery site in 2016, where it will ultimately have places for 600 students from across the region.
It will provide an inspiring and engaging education with a focus on construction and the application of IT in the built environment alongside core GCSEs and A Levels.
Once graduating, students will then have the option of going into construction related higher education, apprenticeships, or into employment.
Additionally, the curriculum will provide access to qualifications that open the doors to further and higher education in non-construction subjects.
The WMCUTC has the strong backing of Wolverhampton City Council and over 60 construction companies in the West Midlands, including Willmott Dixon, Morgan Sindall and Lovell Partnerships Ltd, Hewden, Redrow, Carillion, Barhale Construction and Balfour Beatty.
In a ground breaking move, the University of Wolverhampton will also be moving its School of Architecture and the Built Environment on to the Springfield Brewery site.
The proximity of the two establishments will develop a unique construction campus with enhanced opportunities for UTC and university students.
Tom Macdonald Principal of the WMUTC said: “Being able to build the WMCUTC on the Springfield Brewery site is great news.
"A formerly derelict site will now become the home of a world beating, state of the art UTC offering opportunities and high quality education for talented students from across the West Midlands.
"Uniquely, the first group of students to join us in September 2015 will also get to work on the design and planning for the new build.
In the years to come, the West Midlands UTC will transform not only the career prospects of its students but the economy of a formerly derelict area of the city.”
Geoff Layer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “This will provide a centre of excellence with the most comprehensive construction education and training not only in the country but in Europe.
“We are delighted to be working with the CITB in bringing this project together. This is hugely positive news for the construction industry and for Wolverhampton and the Black Country.
“The development will put the area on the map in terms of construction education and training and will mean that we can provide skills and education from the age of 14, right through to senior professionals wanting to improve their own development.
“It is also exciting for the City of Wolverhampton. It was a key factor for us to have this new centre here in the city to support economic development by regenerating a brownfield site and creating jobs and providing the right skills needed by industry.
“This area has a history of manufacturing and once up and running the centre will provide future opportunities for people to continue adding to that heritage.”
Councillor Peter Bilson, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Prosperity, said: “This is a very exciting proposal that aims to breathe new life into a vacant site and bring more jobs and opportunity to our city.
“The construction sector has a major role to play in the overall regeneration and long term prosperity of Wolverhampton.
“It is therefore important that a skilled workforce is developed to take advantage of career opportunities that will arise over the next few years and this development can help us achieve that.”
Charles Parker, CEO of the Baker Dearing Trust, said: “I am delighted that West Midlands Construction UTC is now set to open its doors in 2015 and that students will have the opportunity to work on the planning and design for the brand new building which will open the following year.
“This is a great example of the unique technical education a UTC offers to young people and how they have the chance to gain the skills employers need in sectors such as construction.”