£3.2m centre ready to open

Olivia Rowley
Olivia Rowley
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A £3.2m state-of-the-art centre that will help people develop skills to get them into employment is to open in South Kirkby.

The Wakefield South East Training and Enterprise Centre, which is the first project to be completed on the site of the former South Kirkby Colliery, will open in September.

New college training facility, South Kirkby business park (site of the former colliery).'h5975c131

New college training facility, South Kirkby business park (site of the former colliery).'h5975c131

It will provide construction, beauty therapy and hairdressing vocational courses to students aged 14 and upwards.

The centre will be run by a partnership of Minsthorpe Community College, Hemsworth Arts and Community College, Oakfield Park School and Wakefield Council, which funded the project.

It boasts fully-accessible beauty and hair salons, wet and dry construction training rooms, a working and training kitchen, on-site cafe, three ICT suites, conference rooms and a sensory suite.

It is hoped the centre will raise aspirations in the southeast of the district by providing learning and enterprising opportunities, developing literacy and numeracy skills and supporting people in developing positive attitudes.

It will work with local employers, encouraging them to become training and learning providers, and will promote lifelong learning.

Leaflets are currently being distributed throughout the area about what the centre has to offer.

Work first started on the centre in April 2010 after planning permission was granted in October 2009.

The regeneration of the former pit site will also see a waste management facility being built as part of £700m Private Finance initiative (PFI).

The new £24m Hemsworth-A1 link road also runs alongside of the site.

Pamela Massett, principal at Hemsworth Arts and Community College, said: “It is wonderful to see that the vision for this centre serving the southeast that was created 10 years ago is finally coming to fruition.

“This is an exciting and innovative centre, which will give people in the southeast of the district the opportunity not only to develop specialist skills and use new technology but to build up basic skills so they have the confidence to take their place in the world of work.”

Coun Olivia Rowley, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “It is great to see this project get off the ground.

“It will give both young people and adults the opportunity to develop skills which employers are looking for and give them the confidence to make their mark in the world.”