National College for High Speed Rail gets the go-ahead

hs2EFG_rgb_blue_COREBirmingham City Council has granted planning permission for a brand new National College for High Speed Rail. Once completed, the state-of-the-art facility will provide vocational training for future generations of engineers, playing a major role in developing the skilled workforce needed to build large-scale rail and infrastructure projects.

The proposed £22 million, three-storey college will be built in Birmingham’s city centre Science Park. As well as classrooms, office space, car parking and a cafe, it will also contain workshops and a specialist external teaching area with railway tracks and masts.

The college will also have a campus in Doncaster, which was granted its own planning permission in December 2015. Plans have been developed in partnership between Birmingham City Council, Doncaster Borough Council, building contractor Willmott Dixon, Bond Bryan Architects and HS2 Ltd, the company responsible for developing and promoting the UK’s new high speed rail network. The college is expected to open for students in September 2017.

John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, said, “The National College for High Speed Rail will be a much needed conduit for the thousands of young engineers and scientists within the West Midlands to access cutting edge developments in high tech rail. I’m keen to ensure that HS2 becomes part of the solution in relation to our challenges with jobs and skills in the region. We should see this as an opportunity to build skills and it’s really important that people from across the city benefit.”

Sajid Javid, business secretary and MP for Bromsgrove, said, “The National College for High Speed Rail will make Birmingham a hub of high quality skills that the UK rail industry needs for years to come. The granting of planning permission takes us one step closer and is another clear sign the Midlands’ engine is roaring.”

There are likely to be positive knock-on effects across the region, with around 25,000 people to be employed during construction and a predicted boost to the wider economy of an additional 400,000 jobs.

To find out more about HS2, visit the website or keep up with developments by following @HS2ltd on Twitter.