Yorkshire wins HS2 college race

Doncaster is to host the HS2 College
Doncaster is to host the HS2 College

Yorkshire will be at the forefront of the high speed rail revolution after Ministers chose the region to host the new HS2 College.

The college will lead the way in training young rail engineers to work on the high speed route set to run from London to Leeds.

And in the longer term it will help the country become a world leader in high speed rail technology.

Doncaster will jointly host the college with Birmingham who together beat off competition from Derby and Manchester who had also been shortlisted in what was a fiercely contested competition.

York and Leeds had also expressed an interest in being the home of the college but threw their weight behind Doncaster after they failed to make the shortlist.

Announcing the decision today, Prime Minister David Cameron said: ““As a crucial part of our long-term economic plan, this government is backing business with better infrastructure so that more jobs and opportunities are created for hardworking people.

“The benefits of high-speed rail will not just be seen by those commuting between London and the North, but through the thousands of local jobs and apprenticeships created because of HS2.

“The opening of this National College will also ensure that we have a pool of locally-trained workers with the right skills to draw upon for future projects.”

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones said: “Bringing a national engineering college to Doncaster will be a game changer for the town and the Sheffield City Region, complementing the plans we have implemented to grow our thriving rail and engineering sector. It will offer local people, including our school leavers, the chance to gain high level engineering skills leading to well-paid jobs that are in high demand.”

Doncaster’s bid, which received backing from across Yorkshire and the North-East, stressed the region’s railway heritage and the fact it gave the Government the opportunity to spread the benefits of HS2 to a wider area.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The opening of this college demonstrates that the UK is advancing as a global leader in rail manufacturing - in line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy. “This is the next step in building the highly skilled specialist workforce needed to develop the biggest infrastructure project this country has ever seen, and to enable our rail industry to compete in future global markets.

“This process has demonstrated a real commitment from all parts of the country to the development of a cutting edge training facility and a rail workforce which is the best in the world.”