York Misses Out in Bid for High Speed Rail College
12:01am 13th June 2014
York has failed to make the shortlist to host a new high speed rail college in the city.
The bid would have brought 2,000 apprenticeships to York and had the backing of more than sixty firms including East Coast, Tata and Omnicom Engineering, Dyer Engineering and Henry Williams in Tees Valley and Hitachi's new operation in County Durham as well as support of the North Yorkshire and York Local Enterprise Partnership.
But the government has announced that Doncaster, Manchester, Birmingham and Derby are on the shortlist and will now give a presentation to a group on the 27th June which will take the final decision.
Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:
“I was extremely encouraged by the level of interest that has been shown by areas across the country in being part of meeting the high speed rail skills challenge. We received a number of very strong proposals, and not all can be taken forward to the final stage. However, it is clear that there is already some excellent partnership activity taking place between education providers and the rail industry across the country which is resulting in the delivery of some outstanding provision.
“For the college to be a success, it will need to bring together this expertise so we can achieve high quality skills provision in this important sector. We hope that all those locations that responded to the consultation will develop strong links with the main college site, so that as many learners as possible have access to the opportunities that HS2 and other rail engineering projects will create.”
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:
“HS2 is a vital part of our long-term economic plan, providing and safeguarding tens of thousands of jobs. The new College will equip the engineers of the future with the skills they need to secure these jobs and similar ones in the UK and across the globe.
“This new national college will operate with a ‘hub and spoke’ model, so there is huge potential for towns and cities across the country to benefit from the opportunities it will bring.”
York Council leader James Alexander has now thrown his support behind Doncaster's bid saying:
“Some you win and some you lose. The High Speed Rail College was an option to further rail training in York and I am disappointed Government has not backed York in this instance. I would like to thank Network Rail for submitting the bid and businesses, LEPs, media and other councils for backing York, as well as local cross party support.
"The council is continuing to talk to Network Rail about other opportunities related to the new rail operating and training centre. York has a long and proud tradition of excellence in this industry and it’s important that we continue to attempt to seize opportunities like this.
"Whilst we now get to work on other options, I back Doncaster's bid to bring the Rail College to Yorkshire.”
The council's Chief Executive Kersten England says York still has a role to play in bringing the HS2 college to the north:
"Whilst we are disappointed that the York bid has not been shortlisted, we are pleased that a Yorkshire city and another northern city are on the shortlist. York worked closely with Doncaster throughout this process and all partners will continue to work with Doncaster and Manchester to help ensure that the High Speed College is located in the north. Our intention is to offer our full support and expertise so all authorities in the Leeds City Region can benefit from this partnership long-term."
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