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Construction begins on Rotherham's new University Campus

posted 12 Sep 2017, 02:04 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 12 Sep 2017, 02:04 ]
Construction work has started on the RNN Group's new £12m campus, University Centre Rotherham (UCR). 



The 35,500 sq ft campus will open in September 2018 on Doncaster Gate and will provide degrees, higher level and professional qualifications for approximately 560 people on a typical term day.

The centre will house a mix of teaching rooms, IT suites, exhibition space, open plan learning spaces, a café and social areas.

Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council, will join representatives of RNN Group, and the contractors, Willmott Dixon at the site this week to dig the first soil.

Cllr. Read said: "Having a university centre is a key part of the town's regeneration and I am delighted that it is going ahead.

"We have a skills gap in Rotherham and that is one thing that is holding the town back. But some of our people are also being held back. If they can get better qualifications they will be able to get better jobs, progress in their careers, increase their income and that can only be good for the town."

The RNN Group has been working closely with 200 of over 1,000 employers to develop courses that particularly meet a need for the local economy. More than 50 different courses are expected to be running by 2020, including digital, creative, health, technical construction, engineering, and leadership and management. The target is to attract 1,000 additional students over the first five years, with, it's hoped, many of those students also going on to create new businesses in the town.

John Connolly, chief executive of the RNN Group, said: "Providing local access to university education in Rotherham will make a real difference to individuals, businesses and the local economy.

"The University Centre will provide new opportunities for those who might not have considered university as an option in the past. The combination of lower fees and the chance to live at home whilst studying locally will bring Higher Education right into the heart of Rotherham, helping to create a skills and jobs revolution in the town."

Rotherham Council has provided the land for the campus in a cut price deal. The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Combined Authority has agreed to fund infrastructure works. A grant of £3.5m has been approved with the balance coming from RNN Group.

Nigel Brewster, vice chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP said: "This is an important and welcome development which will help both adult students and our regional businesses. We have backed the funding because we know there is a skills gap in the region and we want to help address it.

"This investment in infrastructure will help companies who will be able to recruit skilled workers and grow their businesses, creating more jobs.

"It is an exciting and visionary way forward which will benefit the whole region."