Call for college campus to stay in the town

Joseph Priestley College, Peel Street, Morley
Joseph Priestley College, Peel Street, Morley

A Morley councillor is calling on Leeds City College to keep a site in the town to replace the threatened Joseph Priestley Campus.

Coun Neil Dawson met with the Principal of the college, Peter Roberts along with Leeds City Council officers to look at alternative options and a re-location in Morley.

Coun Dawson said: “ I know the college is keen to have a local base and I am working with the council to identify where that could be. “

The campus on Peel Street is now at risk of closure due to government cuts to further education spending.

It currently teaches a range of courses from maths and English to vocational training in subjects like childcare, and has helped thousands of students gain qualifications since it opened twenty three years ago.

Coun Dawson said: “We have to stand up for Morley. Having a further education college is hugely important to the town. It has trained generations of young people, given adult learners valuable skills and is a treasured resource on our doorstep.

“It means local people can improve their chances in life without having to travel, which many can find difficult because of family circumstances.

“I understand that further education has been placed under terrible strain by the Tory government and Leeds College is having to make £10m of spending cuts, about 10% of the entire budget, in the next 12 months”

Joseph Priestley College became part of Leeds City College after a merger of training facilities in the city six years ago.

Leeds City College now has six campuses across West Yorkshire, is the third largest in the country and teaches 40,000 students.

In the last five years it has been forced to cut its spending by £20m.