A new chemical manufacturing college could be built in Huddersfield.
And the £5m scheme could bring hundreds of new apprenticeship opportunities and dozens of new jobs.
Kirklees College is seeking consent for a two-storey new build on land off Turnbridge Road, adjacent to its newly-built engineering college. It will be a third centre in Huddersfield for the college, who have their main campus in Manchester Road.
If planning permission is granted it will be a specialist college used to train apprentices to work in chemical manufacturing and will be in the heart of a manufacturing area, with Cummins Turbo Technologies nearby and further engineering businesses along St Andrew’s Road and Leeds Road.
The college says it will create 440 new apprenticeships and 26 new jobs including construction workers, technicians, teaching and admin staff.
It will also take 800 additional new learners over a period of four years.
The planning application says: “The site provides for a close link between Kirklees Engineering College and the companies who will recruit apprentices trained at the facility.
“The introduction of an educational process manufacturing facility at the heart of the manufacturing area of Huddersfield will increase the invaluable contribution to the future of these businesses who will simultaneously provide an valuable resource to the Kirklees College Engineering Department.”
Kirklees College says the big, regional chemical companies have been engaged in the development including BASF, Syngenta and Nufarm and they hope the industry will have close links with the college.
Deputy Principal June Durrant said: “The Process Manufacturing Centre has been developed in conjunction with a range of employers who approached the college to work with them to support the development of a specialist centre for manufacturing training.
“It supports a wide range of industries including chemical, pharmaceutical and food manufacturing and will provide a valuable new resource for Kirklees and Leeds City Region.”
Planning permission has been submitted in conjunction with a bid for capital funding to support the project.
The aim is to reduce skill shortages and gaps and it has been developed in conjunction with six major employers and regional supply chains.
The application adds: “The proposed scheme offers a positive use to the surrounding community through the revitalisation of a vacant site, whilst simultaneously fulfilling the aspirations of Kirklees College to provide a modern educational process manufacturing facility for both staff and students on a site surrounded by successful industry manufacturers.”
The site was once home to W. C. Holmes Limited, manufacturers of rotary positive air blowers and in 1990 the site was acquired by Dresser Roots, an American manufacturer of positive displacement blowers. However, the majority of the site has been vacant for a number of years with the former manufacturing buildings demolished.
Kirklees College opened the £7.5m Engineering College nearby in 2012 for up to 350 apprentices.
The application says there may be a pedestrian bridge over the Huddersfield Broad Canal, that will create a closer link to the town centre and the firms along St Andrew’s Road.
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