Telford has submitted a £25 million bid to government to help deliver a series of projects that aim to change lives and bring communities together, the Station Quarter.
A key element of the Telford Towns Fund proposals is a ‘digital skills hub’ to be delivered by Telford College and the University of Wolverhampton.
The hub will be part of a transformation of the land between the railway station and the town centre, to be known as the town’s Station Quarter.
The bid has been developed through a partnership approach led by the Telford Town Deal Board which includes MP’s Lucy Allan and Mark Pritchard, Telford & Wrekin Council, Telford College, and representatives from the business, education, voluntary and public sectors.
At the heart of the submission is a drive to skill-up the local workforce for an increasingly digital world. The ‘digital skills hub’ is described as a centre of excellence focused on meeting business need and demand.
Graham Guest, Telford College principal and chief executive, said: “We see this as being a unique alliance between industry and education, and a tremendous opportunity to create an ambitious and exciting innovation centre right at the heart of it.
“In the short-term Telford College will be setting up a pilot project early next year, whilst also working on a longer-term vision with the University of Wolverhampton and other partners, to create a collaborative learning hub.
“For us, it’s an opportunity to expand our provision in a way which is accessible to a greater proportion of people across the borough, which would raise people’s aspirations.
“It’s also about supporting local employers to ensure they can develop the sort of workforce they require – and help to retain these important skills in the town.
“It dovetails with the skills development work the college is also doing through membership of the Telford Business Board.”
Graham Wynn OBE, Chair of the Towns Fund Board, said: “Telford has an outstanding record of securing investment to protect and create jobs, including infrastructure projects that have opened up opportunities for residential and commercial developments through successful LEP and government grant awards.
“It’s a town with ambition and purpose and I’m excited to share our bid with government that amplifies our vision for the future as well as our vision for growth.”
Councillor Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, added: “We are part of the Government’s regional and national growth agenda and despite the challenges of Covid-19 we remain resilient and optimistic that we are well placed to drive the town forward.
“The Government has a commitment to levelling up and it’s vitally important that our different communities are not left behind.”