Major milestone for new national college in Birmingham

By on 05/11/2015 in Leader, News

Members of the public are being invited to share their thoughts on the vision for the new National College for High Speed Rail headquarters which is to be built in Birmingham.

The latest designs for the three-storey, 5,700 square metre building will be on show at Faraday Wharf, Innovation Birmingham Campus today (Thursday 5 November), then at Lancaster Circus on Friday 6 November and Monday 9 November.

The local community is being encouraged to comment on the plans for the brand new building which will be located on the site of the former Birmingham Science Park off the A4540 Dartmouth Middleway and Lister Street.

A formal planning application will then be submitted to Birmingham City Council with a decision due in March 2016. Subject to the necessary approvals, construction is scheduled to start in April 2016 with the college due to open to students in September 2017.

The National College for High Speed Rail will provide specialist vocational training for future generations of engineers. It represents the next step in developing the highly skilled workforce needed to build High Speed Two (HS2), and other major rail and infrastructure projects.

In September 2014, the Government announced that the National College for High Speed Rail would be jointly located at two sites, one in Birmingham which will also house the College’s head quarters and an additional campus in Doncaster.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham is at the heart of the HS2 development. Our plans for wider regeneration and job growth through key sites such as Curzon Station, UK Central and the maintenance depot at Washwood Heath are advancing at some pace.

“The arrival of the National College for High Speed Rail will help deliver the education, skills and apprenticeships required to build run and maintain HS2. Once the college opens in Birmingham, it will be pivotal in providing the digital engineering and advanced construction skills needed by the rail sector and future infrastructure projects. I would urge young people, parents, carers and teachers to think about how they can get involved and make the most of this new College, starting with feedback on its design.”

Andrew Cleaves, Board Director at GBSLEP, said the new college would help to transform the lives of thousands of local people as part of the wider HS2 Growth Strategy plan. “With such a young population here in the region, skills development and apprenticeship opportunities leading to high-value jobs are vital. This college will help create a skills legacy for generations to come,” he commented.

The unveiling of the college designs follows an event on Tuesday (3 November) which saw 150 Birmingham school children attend a mini-engineering fair as part of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, highlighting careers in engineering including the rail sector. Birmingham City Council ran activities at the fair which was organised by the Institution for Civil Engineering (ICE) to change perceptions of engineering among young people, their parents and teachers to inspire the next generation of engineers.

The public consultation event for the design of the National College for High Speed Rail will take place at Faraday Wharf, Innovation Birmingham Campus, Holt Street, Birmingham Science Park Aston, Birmingham, B7 4BB, from 12:00 – 14:00 on Thursday 5 November. There will then be further opportunities for the public to view the plans which will be on display in the reception area at 1 Lancaster Circus in Birmingham on Friday 6 November and Monday 9 November. Comments can be emailed before 13 November to:


Media contact:
Claire Barker, Communications Manager, Marketing Birmingham, 0121 202 5055 / 07918 178220 /

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