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£15m building college planned for Leeds

A planning application for a new £15 million training centre for builders will be submitted later this June.

Leeds College of Building is hoping to start work on the development later this year and wants to open the new facility in 2015. The site it will be built on was previously used by the Yorkshire Design Group.

Ian Billyard, principal at the college, said: "This is extremely good news for our students, staff and the construction industry as a whole.

"This is the start of our consolidation of the six sites we currently operate from into this new purpose built development, along with our North Street and Millwright Street sites."

Mr Billyard added the deal has been long in the making and that location was among the most important factors in choosing the site - with the proposed institution just a ten-minute walk from the city's bus and train station.

If the development goes ahead, the college will push forward the development of new courses in a number of fields, including sustainable and renewable technologies.

Teaching school leavers eco-skills is likely to become more important in years to come as the coalition government is hoping the Green Deal will provide new construction jobs across the UK.

The school has appointed Fuse Studio, an architectural firm, to design the project for an undisclosed amount.

Construction groups are likely to be delighted at this news, which comes as the sector returns to growth for the first time in six months.

The Markit Construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to a score of 50.8 in May, up from 49.4 the month before. Any number above 50 represents growth.

David Noble, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, said: "The construction sector seems to have turned a corner after six dismal months" 

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