The National College for High Speed Rail took a major step forward today as construction officially began at Doncaster’s Lakeside.
A breaking ground ceremony launched the official start of construction work and the college, which will provide Britain’s workforce with the training required to build HS2, is on track to open in September 2017.
The college will equip thousands of students with the highly technical engineering skills required to build, operate and maintain a railway, including a strong emphasis on practical and virtual learning.
Robert Goodwill, minister of state for transport, said: “This landmark moment means we are one step closer to seeing students walk through the doors of the college in 2017, learning the cutting-edge skills we need to deliver HS2 and world-beating rail infrastructure.
“This shows the transformational effect that HS2 is already having on our country - boosting skills, generating jobs and supporting economic growth – before spades are in the ground next year.”
Terry Morgan, chair of the corporate board for the National College for High Speed Rail, said: “The National College for High Speed Rail is progressing at an excellent pace and I am delighted that construction is underway on both sites in Doncaster and Birmingham.
“The college will have a major and hugely positive impact on the ability of the rail industry to develop a multi-skilled specialist British workforce, capable of building HS2 and future infrastructure projects.
“It will be a catalyst for growth in both Doncaster and Birmingham that will bring new investment into the area and provide highly skilled jobs for local people.”
Ros Jones, Doncaster mayor, added: “It is fantastic to see construction starting on the National College for High Speed Rail, a very significant project for both the UK and the future of Doncaster and our young people.
“One of my priorities is to bring more highly skilled jobs to the borough which local people are able to benefit from, and the College will play a central role in delivering these kind of opportunities.
“Rail is in our blood in Doncaster, and we have a proven track record of delivering world-class engineering and infrastructure projects that makes us the perfect location for the college.”