University support

PRIME Minister David Cameron has backed a campaign by Wakefield Council leader Coun Peter Box to get a university in the Wakefield district.

In February Coun Box launched his fight for a university - backed up by figures that just 18 per cent of the district’s population have high level qualifications, a lower score than any other city. He said that although the district got excellent GCSE results - it lacked higher skills.

Last Thursday Mr Cameron backed the campaign.

Coun Peter Box said: “I welcome comments made by the Prime Minister that he supports my efforts to ‘bang the drum’ for a much-needed university in Wakefield. I will continue to put pressure on Government ministers to make this happen.

“This statement confirms that there is indeed a strong case for a university in Wakefield, which will bring skills and greater opportunities to the district.

“A university is very much needed so we can raise aspirations, nurture the dreams of young people and encourage people to achieve their ambitions. A university will also give a boost to our local economy, bring people to the area and raise skill levels across our district.

“I’m glad the Prime Minister is supporting my efforts and I now need him to turn his words into action.”

Coun Box is lobbying for the change on the back on year he said Wakefield “reinvented itself” as a major city through developments such as the Trinity Walk shopping centre, Merchant Gate business quarter and the Hepworth Wakefield gallery.