Yorkshire’s First University Technical College Reaches the Top

23 April 2013

Yorkshire’s First University Technical College Reaches the Top
Sheffield UTC students and player from Sheffield United join Nick Clegg MP, Paul Blomfield MP, James Wates and UTC Principal Nick Crew

Players from Sheffield United have kicked off a special ‘topping out’ ceremony to mark the installation of an innovative rooftop sports pitch at University Technical College Sheffield on Matilda Street.

“This fantastic building will have the latest facilities for students specialising in creative and digital media, and advanced engineering and manufacturing skills, as well as mainstream academic qualifications.”

Nick Crew, Principal

Picture: Students from UTC Sheffield and players from Sheffield United join Nick Clegg MP, Paul Blomfield MP, James Wates and UTC Principal, Nick Crew.

The ‘topping out’ event, traditionally held to bring luck to a new building, saw contractor, Wates, celebrate a siginficant milestone in the construction works as the uppermost point of the building was put into place.

The occasion was celebrated with newly enrolled students and the University Technical College Sheffield Principal, Nick Crew. Nick Clegg MP, Paul Blomfield MP, Cllr Leigh Bramall and Chairman of Wates Group, James Wates, were also in attendance to mark the milestone.

The facility, which has a capacity of 600 places, will provide specialist vocational learning within the engineering, creative and digital sectors, alongside an academic curriculum.  240 student places are available for the 2013/14 academic term.

Work on the new £9.9m facility began last September and completion is scheduled for the summer in preparation for the 2013/14 academic year.

The ‘topping out’ ceremony saw the three-storey facility reach its tallest point, crowned with a special all-weather sports pitch on the roof to maximise space at its city centre location.

Upon completion, the UTC will become the first of its kind for Yorkshire. Partnerships with local businesses will ensure a talent stream into the region’s future workforce.

Deputy Chairman of Wates Group, James Wates, commented: “University Technical Colleges are at the forefront of twenty first century vocational and academic learning and I am delighted to see the breadth of support UTC Sheffield is enjoying in its city. Construction is progressing well and I would like to wish the college luck for the future.”

Nick Crew, UTC Sheffield Principal, said: “The topping out ceremony marks a significant milestone in getting Yorkshire’s first university technical college off the ground. This fantastic building will have the latest facilities for students specialising in creative and digital media, and advanced manufacturing and engineering skills as well as mainstream academic qualifications. We are delighted with its progress and the positive response we have received from young people, parents, businesses and the local community.”

Cllr Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development, said: “It only seems a few short months ago we were at the ground breaking ceremony for the new Sheffield University Technical College and now here we are standing on the roof top watching a game of football!

“It is remarkable to see things develop so well and so quickly. The Sheffield UTC is going to offer fantastic opportunities to young people, boost Sheffield’s economy and will also mean local businesses can grow their own future employees.

“We have always been passionate about ensuring that the city has a highly skilled workforce and the UTC helps us to work closely with businesses to ensure that the next generation of workers in Sheffield have the right skills for the job while at the same time bringing much needed jobs to the area.”

The building has been innovatively designed by HLM Architects and will also incorporate the former Victorian Sydney Works building, which is currently being carefully refurbished. The Mechanical and Electrical installations have been carried out by power.

The UTC Sheffield has been sponsored by The Sheffield College and is supported by the local universities and Sheffield chamber of commerce and industry.

The project has been made possible through the financial support of Sheffield City Council, which bought the Porter Brook Site on which the UTC is being built and provided a 125-year lease at a peppercorn rent. The college has also received £9.9m capital funding from the Department for Education.

For information on how to apply to attend University Technical College Sheffield please visit www.utcsheffield.org.uk/apply.