Wirral Met College has announced plans to build a new campus in the heart of Wirral Waters, the largest and most visionary regeneration project in the UK. Thanks to the support of the Skills Funding Agency, the new Campus will be a dedicated Built Environment, Skills and Enterprise Centre.
Sue Higginson, Wirral Met College Principal, said, “We are delighted that in our 160th year of supporting our local community, our College is now set to play a key role in the ambitious plans for the regeneration of Wirral to support generations for the next 160 years. We have developed this initiative with The Peel Group, a major private sector developer with a proven track record of delivery, including major projects such as MediaCityUK and The Trafford Centre. With support from the Skills Funding Agency and a strong partnership with Peel, our new campus will launch the development of Wirral Waters. Because we are at the heart of this transformational project, we will be directly supporting employers by providing the skills and knowledge required to support the 20,000 new jobs that Wirral Waters is set to realise.
The new campus will be open for business in September 2015 and it will specialise in skills related to the Built Environment, embracing renewable energy and training the future workforce that will create the transformational Wirral Waters vision. In addition to this, Wirral Met College is relocating its Employer Services facility, which already supports over 1,000 employers, to engage and support employers that will invest in the largest regeneration project in the UK and one of the first Enterprise Zones created in the UK”.
John Whittaker, Chairman of The Peel Group, said: “Wirral Waters is not only an important project for Peel, it is an important scheme for the City Region, for Peel’s Ocean Gateway and for future generations to come. Peel recognises the importance of infrastructure. It’s this investment into our ports, our transport systems and energy provision – that really underpins ‘growth’ projects such as Wirral Waters – and I put skills & training into the same category. Investing in our young, talented people and giving them the opportunity to develop the skills that businesses actually need is vital in helping us to grow and diversify the economy. That’s why we’re delighted to be developing a new college campus for Wirral Met College, which sits right at the heart of Wirral Waters”.
Robert Hough, Chair, Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “This is indeed exciting news for Wirral Met College. The LEP recognises the value of the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone as a key strategic initiative which will create multiple job opportunities and boost growth. To achieve this, there needs to be a focus on our people and equip them with the skills, aptitude and ability to meet the demands of the companies that will be based in Wirral Waters.”
This project is the start of the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone which provides many specific and exclusive opportunities for businesses to establish themselves in the enterprise zone. Wirral Met College will be working with the Local Authority and Wirral Chamber of Commerce to maximise the opportunities this presents for businesses investing in Wirral, whilst also generating jobs for local people.
Wirral West Member of Parliament and Minister of State for Employment, Esther McVey, said "I was delighted to support this bid and this Government funding demonstrates its commitment to Wirral and the wider Merseyside communities. Wirral Met College plays a huge role in our further education system and this new college campus will enhance further all the great work that it does in getting local people trained in many different skill sets in order to help them gain employment."
Paula Basnett, CEO of Wirral Chamber of Commerce, added, "This is a great boost for Wirral, we are seeing the vision of Wirral Waters becoming a reality and this college development will be key to the future of Wirral, the creation of new jobs, and undoubtedly to kick start further investment into the Peel Group's visionary scheme. Wirral Chamber of Commerce will be working closely with Wirral Met College throughout this project to maximise the opportunities for employment and finvestment."