Dudley College Unveils Plans For University Centre In Town

Dudley College has unveiled plans to create a new £30 million university centre in the town.

The high level skills training in technologies of the future that will be provided at University Centre Dudley will target those who do not traditionally progress to university. If given the green light, work on the new campus - which will be built on the former freight-liner terminal, next to the site of the new £27 million Very Light Rail Innovation Centre in Castle Hill - could start in August.

The centre, which will provide higher level apprenticeships and graduate level and postgraduate level courses in engineering and manufacturing, building technologies and modern construction methodologies and transport technologies, is being developed in partnership with a number of the region’s leading universities. College principal, Lowell Williams, said:

“I’m very excited by the opportunity UCD presents to the Black Country and the wider region. 

"It is a logical development from the fantastic facilities we have already developed in Dudley and will provide significant further investment in those all-important high level technical skills needed in our regional economy."

Dudley North MP, Ian Austin, has said the university-level technical and hi-tech manufacturing centre will "transform Dudley" and "bring new industries and new jobs to the Black Country".

He continued: “This is brilliant news for Dudley because it will open up opportunities and build a better future for local people and make Dudley a strong town again.

“The new campus will bring new cutting-edge, hi-tech industries to Dudley as well as more apprenticeships, degrees and well-paid jobs for local people.

“I’ve always said we need to make education our number one priority to help local businesses grow, give youngsters a first class start and give adults the opportunity to get new jobs too.

“Dudley is the biggest place in the country with no university campus so this will help us attract new investment and new jobs to replace those we’ve lost in traditional industries. The new campus won’t just transform a derelict site but transform our economy and the opportunities for local youngsters.”

UCD will be a key element of the new West Midlands Combined Authority’s skills plan and is being backed by Labour’s candidate for the West Midlands Mayor Siôn Simon. He said:

“The Black Country lit the spark that fired the Industrial Revolution, changing not just the West Midlands or even Britain, but the whole of the world.

"That’s why we will take back control of skills budgets and work with Dudley College to deliver more apprenticeships, higher and technical apprenticeships and contribute to a £30 million university centre that will make Dudley a national leader of skills in vehicle propulsion, rail systems, digital engineering and more.”

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