New era beckons as £20m college rebuild begins

27 February, 2024 4:24 pm

Work on our £20m campus rebuild is underway.

The college is replacing its main building and constructing a renewable energy hub to take its training and education provision to the next level.

The upgrade will result in state-of-the-art facilities including a mock hospital ward, digital technology suite, electric vehicle workshop and a construction centre focused on modern building methods.

Preliminary work began in February while the full construction phase, in what is currently the campus’s car park, will start in March.

First steps towards an exciting future

Principal Danny Wild, confirming the news during Colleges Week, said: “We are really excited to see work on our new campus getting underway. 

“The resulting, purpose-built facilities will allow us to keep producing the highly skilled individuals that our region’s businesses need, now and for decades to come.

“It will also allow us, while building on our close collaboration with local employers, to consolidate our position as the leading local provider of T Levels.

“We look forward to showing off the results, which will usher in an exciting new chapter for Harrogate College, its students and the people of North Yorkshire, in the summer of 2025.”

The college will run as normal throughout the building phase and students will continue to have full access to all of the existing facilities, as comprehensive safety measures will be in place to keep the building site entirely separate.

Building on green foundations

An artist's impression of the new renewable energy technology centre at Harrogate College

An artist’s impression of how the new renewable energy technology centre will look

A key focus of the upgraded campus will be on teaching sustainable technology skills, something the college, which has pledged to become net zero by 2035 and will incorporate energy efficient systems into the new buildings, has made a key priority.

Our green sector work to date has involved teaming up with local businesses like Energy Oasis, which helps organisations cut their energy bills, to hold awareness-raising events, specialist classes and more.

Energy Oasis recently trained some of our tutors in how to fit and wire up PV solar panels, so they can in turn teach the students. Founder Mike Kaye hailed the campus rebuild as a demonstration of the college’s ‘deep-seated commitment to sustainability’.

He said: “We are really proud that the college is looking to become a centre of renewable and sustainable excellence.

“This is one of the fastest growing areas in the economy and the more people, whether they are just starting off or looking for a career change, who can be trained up in these skills and deployed into the workforce, the better.

“By offering comprehensive energy and sustainability courses, Harrogate College is arming students with the necessary skills to lead the way towards a greener future. We look forward to working with them and supporting them in this new era.”

Plugging skill gaps across North Yorkshire

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones added: “As well as enhancing the facilities available to Harrogate College students, this £20 million new campus will bring many broader benefits to Harrogate, Knaresborough and the wider area.

“With many of the courses set to be on offer at the new campus geared toward sectors where there are currently local skills shortages, the development will provide a real boost to local economies, providing valuable opportunities for our young people and adults.”

The new main campus building is due to be completed by July 2025.