Hull’s employer-led school, Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC), has received approval and funding for exciting expansion plans.
Ron Dearing UTC has been awarded a grant of just over £3.7m to increase its capacity by reconfiguring space in the school’s existing building and creating a hi-tech new Centre for Sustainability in Hull’s former Central Fire Station, adjacent to the school.
Focusing on decarbonisation and renewables, the expansion will support the Humber’s growth as a leading region for green energy technologies by providing local industry with an additional 100 highly skilled and qualified potential employees every year.
The Ron Dearing UTC expansion will enable an additional 200 students to study Level 3 qualifications in engineering, creative and digital, increasing the school’s overall capacity to 800 students.
Councillor Shane McMurray, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Hull City Council said: “The council welcomes this announcement from the DFE and the further opportunities it opens up for Hull’s young people.
“This fits within our strategy to increase the amount of high-skilled and technical careers. Alongside the recent expansion of large employers, Hull is well on its way to offering more sustainable careers.
“The Ron Dearing UTC has made an incredibly positive impact on the city since it opened in 2017 and I’m looking forward to seeing the expansion plans become a reality.”
Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “This is great news for the region and its young people. Having received approval for our application for funding, we can now focus on turning our plans into reality.
“We’re really excited by this opportunity to offer more students the chance to benefit from our unique employer-led education model and increase the pipeline of talent we provide to local employers.”
Richard Martin, Customer Experience Director at Arco and Ron Dearing UTC’s Chair of Governors, said: “Matching our curriculum with the needs of the region’s employers is what we do best at Ron Dearing.
“This funding allows Sarah and her team to give our students the relevant skills they need to support the region’s ambitious growth plans in the renewables and sustainability sector, as well as expanding our digital capabilities.”
The new Centre of Sustainability is expected to open in September 2022. It will feature renewables workshops as well as digital studios equipped with Computer-Aided Design (CAD), augmented reality and virtual reality software as well as 3D printers.
Additional Sixth Form independent study space will be incorporated into the Centre for Sustainability and the school’s existing Ørsted Library. In addition, a number of new science labs will be developed within the school’s current building to broaden the highly successful Science curriculum to include Digital Health.
The former Central Fire Station building originally opened in 1929 and was rebuilt after the Second World War. It closed in 2017 and Hull City Council subsequently acquired the site with a view to identifying a new use for the building.