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Birmingham's £50m National College for High Speed Rail set for planning approval

A college in Birmingham that will educate the UK’s next generation of high-speed rail engineers is expected to receive planning permission this week.

Work on Birmingham’s £50m National College for High Speed Rail could begin in the spring after papers from the city’s planning committee revealed that the council “fully endorsed plans” for the 61,350 sq ft site at the Aston Science Park.

Released ahead of a planning committee meeting on Thursday (4 February), the report said the investment in the Aston Park site would be ”welcomed” by the council.

It added: “Birmingham has been chosen by the government as one of the two locations for a national vocational training college for High Speed 2, a decision that is fully endorsed by the city.

“It is a previously developed site within an area identified for regeneration in the Curzon Masterplan, a plan that promotes economic growth that supports HS2.

“The investment in this site and the opportunities to enhance the skills required for HS2 are to be welcomed.”

The Birmingham College will be one of two set up ahead of the construction of HS2, with another facility in Doncaster set to open in 2017.

When completed, the colleges will provide cutting-edge facilities including specialist vocational classrooms and external teaching areas containing railway tracks and masts.

The Birmingham college has been designed by Sheffield-based architect Bond Bryan.

The National College for High Speed Rail governing board will be chaired by Terry Morgan, who also chairs Crossrail, and will include representatives from Birmingham and Doncaster, alongside HS2 Ltd and rail contractors.

In November, former FirstGroup HR director John Evans was appointed chief executive for the college. He will be responsible for shaping the curriculum and the design of both the Birmingham and Doncaster colleges.


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