Morley residents invited to find out more about our new adult skills centre

Posted: May 17, 2024

An artist's impression of how the exterior of the Morley Learning and Skills Centre will look

More details about a multi-million pound project to transform a historic building into an adult skills hub will be shared in Morley this month.

The college and Leeds City Council are aiming to turn the former St Mary’s in the Wood church hall into Morley Learning and Skills Centre.

The Grade II listed building, on Commercial Street, was purchased by the council last year using part of the £24.3 million Morley Towns Fund* grant. The plan is to convert the interior to create a new facility that will focus on providing training to boost the skills of adults, particularly in emerging and new technologies.

A full planning application is due to be submitted soon, but in the meantime residents can learn more at a public information session that will be held at Morley Town Hall from 4pm to 7pm on Wednesday 29 May.

Delivering the skills to help Morley thrive

Our Director of Adult Curriculum, Jo Dye, said: “This exciting venture is all about helping local people gain the skills they need to maximise their potential, through a joint effort by the college and the council, backed by the Morley Town Deal.

“We have been talking to residents and local businesses to hear exactly what kinds of training would be most beneficial, and that will continue as the project progresses so we can tailor our offer accordingly.

“Our consultation work so far has shown that a clear majority of people would welcome this facility, and that there is a strong local need for the technology-focused skills that are so important across so many jobs and sectors.

“We look forward to showing members of the public more details, and hearing their opinions, when we display our plans at the town hall.”

A ‘game changer’ for the town

The plans include the addition of ramps and a lift, to make the former Sunday school building – which dates back to 1900 – fully accessible. A modern ‘learning pod’ is also being proposed for the main hall.

The centre will run business and management courses along with English and maths classes, as well as its digital training, to ensure it offers something to a broad spectrum of learners. 

An impression of how the interior of the new centre will look

Its technology courses, meanwhile, will cover everything from baseline IT skills to coding and virtual reality.

Morley Town Deal Board Chair, Gerald Jennings, added: “We are excited to be working with Leeds City College and Leeds City Council to deliver this learning and skills centre project, which will be a game changer for Morley.

“A major ambition of the Town Deal’s work is to build skills and grow future opportunities. Creating the right educational offer in Morley is therefore critical to achieving that ambition. I am delighted that plans for the Morley-based Learning and Skills Centre are progressing apace, and to be a part of something that will benefit the town and its people for many generations to come.”

The college and council are hoping to open Morley Learning and Skills Centre in late 2025.

*The Towns Fund is part of the government’s national Levelling Up policy.

An artist's impression of how the exterior of the Morley Learning and Skills Centre will look

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