Plans to open the National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster have taken another step forward with funding confirmed.
The Government has confirmed finance is in place following November’s comprehensive spending review, subject to final due diligence.
Officials say this is a major milestone for the scheme, which will open its doors for the first intake of students in Birmingham and Doncaster from September 2017.
Terry Morgan, chairman of the corporate board for the National College for High Speed Rail, said: “This is an excellent outcome and it will ensure that the NCHSR is set up with an agreed financial package and keeps us on schedule to invite the first intake of students in September 2017.
“The college will have a major and hugely positive impact on the ability of the UK rail supply industry to develop a multi-skilled specialist British workforce that is essential to the timely delivery of HS2 and the ability to respond to other infrastructure projects in future.”
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “This is an important announcement and it is now full steam ahead for the new National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster.
“The college will have a transformational impact on our booming rail sector. It will provide our existing rail firms with the opportunities to flourish, encourage new companies to locate in the area and importantly deliver more high quality, well-paid jobs for local people to tap into. The college will make a major contribution to economic growth in Doncaster, the wider Sheffield City Region, Yorkshire and the north.”
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: “Confirmation of government funding for the National College for High Speed Rail is excellent news – not just for HS2 and the rail industry, but also for the young people who will benefit from the skills and training they will receive in order to deliver this vital, world-class railway.
“HS2 will be Europe’s largest infrastructure project, creating thousands of jobs and apprenticeships. The college is a key part of the government’s commitment to address the gap in essential skills needed by employers.”
The college will have two main sites in Birmingham and Doncaster. Doncaster Council last week approved planning permission for the college at Lakeside, while Birmingham City Council recently received a formal planning application for a site in the city.
HS2 Ltd will support up to 100,000 jobs nationwide, create around 25,000 jobs during construction of Phases One and Two and create 2,000 apprenticeships.
The college is the only way to provide the world-class training required for this size of workforce to build, operate and maintain the railway.