“Shabby looking” Wakefield College building to get £3.8m makeover

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The ‘shabby-looking’ Radcliffe Building at Wakefield College is set to get a new look.

A £1.3m grant from the Skills Funding Agency, will pay for an additional floor space to be added to the building, which is situated on the Margaret Street Campus, and a new facade. It will house state-of-the-art science labs.

The college is also spending £2.5m as part of its Carbon Reduction Management Plan, on improvements designed to reduce the building’s carbon footprint.

It will include insulation, new windows and natural ventilation, which will reduce the need for heating and air conditioning.

The college’s director of estates, Jon Howard, said: “The current building looks shabby opposite our new Harrison Building and we have always needed to do something with it. It’s about creating an environment that people want to learn in. We already have excellent teaching and learning, and the building has to match.”

In July 2009 The Express revealed that the college had missed out on funding from the Learning and Skills Council for a £75m new-build on Margaret Street.

A second blow was dealt in October of the same year when its bid for funding for a university centre failed.

But bosses have always vowed to give the city the ‘world class facilities it deserves,’ and last week they announced new plans for a university centre were in the pipeline, which could pave the way for Wakefield to have its very own university.

The college is working on the plans with the council and organisations and employers, including the Backstage Academy based at Litestructures in South Kirkby.