Two of Dewsbury's most historic buildings are to be sold off

A century of teaching and tradition will come to an end when Kirklees College sells off two of its historic sites.

Monday, 22nd October 2018, 6:21 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd October 2018, 6:28 pm
Wheelwright Centre, Kirklees College, which is to be sold off.

The Wheelwright Building and the Oldroyd Building, both within the college’s Dewsbury campus, are surplus to requirements following a £3m investment in a new site.

The two parcels of land – on Birkdale Road and Halifax Road – are held on trust for Dewsbury Endowed Schools Foundation. They have been advertised for sale with proceeds earmarked for the Dewsbury Learning Quarter.

Elements of the college that are currently situated on the land will relocate to the new development.

Millions have been pumped into transforming the former Grade II listed Pioneer House, on Northgate on the edge of Dewsbury town centre, into a state-of-the-art “learning centre”.

It will reopen in 2019 as the Pioneer Centre.

The college’s Springfield Sixth Form Centre opened in May. The building’s library was dedicated to murdered Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox.

The Springfield site and the Pioneer Centre will together replace the college’s existing campuses, the Dewsbury Centre and Batley School of Art.

Springfield is a purpose-built facility built on derelict land formerly occupied by a Safeway supermarket at Bradford Road. The Pioneer Centre will specialise in creative and digital media and art, healthcare, business and finance.

Kirklees College Principal Marie Gilluley described the new centre as “fabulous”, adding: “[it] will open up new opportunities for local people to up-skill and develop their careers and play its part in regenerating Dewsbury.”

Pioneer House is currently owned by Kirklees Council. On completion it will be transferred to the college on a 125-year lease. The council is contributing a grant of around £1.7m towards the £2.9m cost of its renovation.

The Batley and District New Technical, Science and Art School opened in 1893. It eventually morphed into Batley Technical College and School of Art and Crafts.

In 1949 it amalgamated with Dewsbury Technical College to become Dewsbury and Batley Technical and Art College. Dewsbury College opened in 1987.

Kirklees College was formed in 2008 via the merging of Dewsbury College and Huddersfield technical College.

Kirklees College was approached to comment on the charity land sale.