Next steps for the Dewsbury Learning Quarter development

On 17 January 2017, our Cabinet approved the release of funding that will provide new educational facilities in Dewsbury Town Centre.

Cabinet decided to release funding of £2.9M to support a programme of works which will result in the transformation of Pioneer House.

What will Pioneer House become?

The transformation will turn the iconic building into a key element of a new Dewsbury campus for Kirklees College.

It will be a centre for higher level skills, apprenticeships and post-19 studies, specialising in creative and digital media and art, healthcare, business and finance.  If proposals are agreed by Cabinet, works will start at Pioneer House in February 2017.

A new purpose-built facility will also be developed by Kirklees College on the Bradford Road site, next to Lidl, mainly for full time students aged 16 to 18, and will include specialist areas for foundation learning in construction and motor vehicle courses.

The two new centres will replace the current premises of the College’s Dewsbury Centre and Batley School of Art, both located on Halifax Road. Kirklees College plans to open the ‘Dewsbury Learning Quarter’ in 2018.

Redevelopment of Dewsbury

This is the first major scheme in the North Kirklees Growth Zone (NKGZ) project – a long term regeneration programme that will promote transformational change in the town.

The redevelopment of Pioneer House, is the ‘critical project’ of the Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), a £3.7m regeneration programme which is jointly funded by Kirklees Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and is a clear indication of the Council’s commitment to the transformation of Dewsbury as part of the NKGZ initiative.

What our partners think:

Dewsbury Learning Quarter is being supported with significant funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Skills Capital Fund.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP said: “I’m delighted to see another project in our overall £79m programme of investment in new, world-class college facilities moving forward.

Central to our ambition is ensuring that all young people in our City Region have access to fulfilling career opportunities, and that businesses are able to find employees with the right mix of skills to grow.

As well as supporting the creation state-of-the-art college facilities, I’m thrilled our investment will help to provide young people with high quality skills in growing industry sectors that match future labour market demand.”


  • Glad to see something happening with the building but in my opinion its just a big waste of money. They obviously needed to get rid of some extra funds so decided to give the town something else it dont need. Im in favour of doing it up but what is the point of moving the collage down the road when the buildings up halifax road are fine for purpose with an empty school at the side of the art collage that could be renovated cheaper rather than opening up 1 building to shut down or keep closed 3 perfectly good 1’s just out of town. All that will happen now is that the buildings up the road will fall into a state of disrepair like everything else round here and the town will be no better for it.
    This is only helping Dewsbury by putting a pretty face on a eye swore. The town needs investment in new shops, independent business’s and community relationships instead of plowing all that money into something that hardly any of us are going to use. It’s ok catering for students but students aint the one’s spending their money in town, apart from the odd bit of fabric or take away…..
    It’s a double edge sword, im happy to see something been done with the building finally but gutted its going to be a complete waste of money and not really help the town too much in the long run!!
    I hate been negative as i really love Dewsbury and i am normally the first the defend it but Kirklees have shown yet again that they dont actually care about breathing new life into the town. This will only profit which ever private companies get the work and do nothing towards helping local business’s and the rest of the eye swore Kirklees have left the town in…. Daisy Hill, the arcades and all the other shut down and boarded up shop fronts??? 🙁

  • Valerie McMillan [Pensioner]

    I assume Jabar Khaliq meant the building was unsafe but presumably this will be put right if the College Campus is to go ahead and well deserved and needed it is.
    I cannot understand ‘how’ the Campus will attract older shoppers, there is nothing to purchase as it has been stated
    “…It will be a centre for higher level skills, apprenticeships and post-19 studies, specialising in creative and digital media and art, healthcare, business and finance…”
    I am an ‘older shopper’ [some might say ancient] and having a Campus in Pioneer House will be wonderful for Dewsbury and long overdue, and I promise Jabar [and any others of a like mind] that I will do my shopping in the usual places in Dewsbury and I will not attempt to get into the Campus, unless I get dementia and forget where I am going of course.

  • This is a welcome development for Dewsbury and its people.

  • Daniel Richardson

    Actions speak louder than words Kirklees so lets for once see some money generated into Dewsbury instead of Huddersfield!

  • Daniel Richardson

    That makes no sense whatsoever?

  • Brilliant – if it goes through! I am so pleased that some money is being in invested in Dewsbury and that this beautiful building may have to chance to come alive again, it has looked so sorry for itself since the restaurant shut some years ago.

  • Hope it goes ahead. This area deserves excellent higher education for our young to move the area forward. We must invest in the future.

  • Excellent news

  • The College Campus is not suitable in Town Centre as it is unsafe and will attract older shoppers in the Town. Although I know it has been approved and ready soon to open , however this is my concern .

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