The City of Wolverhampton Council Leader welcomed the announcement that Wolverhampton is to receive £20million to help deliver its ambitious City Learning Quarter vision.
The scheme developed by the Council in partnership with City of Wolverhampton College will deliver a purpose-built learning facility for young people and adults at the heart of the city centre to drive up skills levels.
Councillor Ian Brookfield said: “I am delighted we have secured the final piece in the jigsaw of our funding package to enable the council and college to deliver this vital scheme for the city.
“A lot of hard work has been put in by council and college representatives, supported by our local MPs, to make an overwhelming case to Government, which has now responded to our requests.
“The City Learning Quarter will have a visible and tangible impact on the City of Wolverhampton and its residents, making a massive difference to everyday life through direct investment in skills and education.
“We are working hard with City of 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 new facilities will provide a vital facelift as we re-imagine our city centre, which is benefiting from £1 billion of investment overall.
“The City Learning Quarter will be an inspirational environment for people to learn in and will offer excellent connectivity to rail, bus, tram and cycle.
“We can now make our plans a reality and we will be creating an environment where everyone can flourish.
“It demonstrates the commitment this city has to investing in its citizens – not just buildings.”
The exciting proposals were initially supported by a £6.2 million investment from the Council and Black Country LEP, which has enabled design work, site surveys and ground investigations, site acquisition and clearance to be completed.
The Council has also secured £5million from the Towns Fund and £20million from the Levelling Up Fund.
And today’s further £20million, announced by the Department for Education’s Minister for Skills, Alex Burghart, means all the funding is now in place to fully deliver the shovel-ready scheme, with the Council and college already having started the procurement process to secure a construction partner.
The City Learning Quarter will be situated around the Old Hall Street and St. George’s Parade area of the city centre, incorporating a site on the corner of Garrick Street and Bilston Street, where the former Faces nightclub building once stood.
The state-of-the-art education facility will be set over 10,000 square metres and will also see investment in the building and public realm around them. It will encompass City of Wolverhampton College’s Metro One Campus, the council’s Adult Education Service and Central Library, creating an enhanced learning environment for everyone as well as significantly paving the way for City of Wolverhampton College to move from its out-dated Paget Road site, which has been identified as land to build much-needed housing.
In addition to the new facilities providing educational benefits for the city, the City Learning Quarter will generate and safeguard 750 jobs in the local economy.
City of Wolverhampton College forecasts that over a 10-year period approximately 45,000 people will benefit from learning at the City Learning Quarter and around 7,500 apprenticeships will be started.
Its central location and close proximity to the new £150 million transport interchange will make it easily accessible. It will also boast environmental benefits in line with council’s climate emergency agenda.
It is calculated that through energy efficient buildings and traffic reduction, more than 600 tonnes of CO2 emissions will be prevented from being released into the atmosphere each year. It is also estimated that our air will be cleaner due to 310kg of NOX particles not being discharged into the city.