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Bishop Burton College collaborates with 12 regional education providers to win share of £65m Strategic Development Fund

20 Jul 2021 | College

A multi-million-pound government investment has been won by twelve education providers across the Humber region. The financial boost will come from the Skills Accelerator Programme, a pilot initiative, which aims to make technical skills training more responsive to regional employer’s skills needs.

This will include the development new courses to provide the higher-level skills that are needed for future industry growth, which includes new fuel and green technologies, robotics and electric vehicle maintenance.

Bishop Burton College’s focus will be on green technology and renewable energy generation within rural farming businesses. The College’s aim is to support farming SMEs within the region to identify and adopt affordable carbon reduction solutions, in order to meet demanding environmental targets.

The twelve education providers who, along with Bishop Burton College, collaborated to become a Strategic Development Fund (SDF) pilot area are; the TEC Partnership (Grimsby Institute, Scarborough TEC, East Riding College and Modal training), University of Hull, North Lindsey College, Selby College, John Leggott College, Franklin College, Wilberforce Sixth Form and Hull College.

The Strategic Development Fund (SDF) aims to re-shape technical skills in the region to better support the needs of the local labour market by investing in skills, innovation and infrastructure. This includes supporting emerging and changing skills needs in the region, in order to create new jobs and support the transition to carbon net zero.

Bill Meredith, Principal and CEO at Bishop Burton College, said;

“We are delighted to work closely with the twelve providers who collaborated to win this bid. This is a huge benefit to the region and presents many opportunities for growth.

“Our focus is to develop higher-level and emerging skills to continue to build the region’s economic growth through sustainable, green-energy driven approaches.

“Close engagement with industry partners will be underpinned by knowledge and resource sharing. This is a significant trailblazer programme within which we are excited to play a part.”

James Newman, Chair of Hull and East Yorkshire LEP said;

“We are delighted with the outcome of this bidding opportunity, being one of less than 18 successful bids on a national basis. This bid represents excellent collaboration between providers from across the region and will enhance the strategic partnerships between employers and post-16 providers to shape future technical skills provision.

“Bishop Burton College’s focus on enabling people to develop new and higher-level skills in green-energy technology and renewable energy generation within rural farming businesses will add strength to the region and will support the transition to a net zero economy.”

A wide range of proposals are being developed to create new study programmes at college and university levels, as well as short courses and industry events. Knowledge sharing and joint staff development within the collaborative skills initiative will contribute to this significant programme which aims to support innovation, transformation and economic growth.

For Bishop Burton College, this collaborative partnership programme has come at an extremely exciting time. Last month the College officially opened its brand new Centre for Precision Agriculture, which is part of the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology (YHIoT). The YHIoT is an employer-led collaboration between the county’s further education colleges and the University of Hull and University of York St John which is designed to provide higher-level technical and digital skills across the region. Being part of both the SDF and YHIoT, Bishop Burton College is playing an important role in supporting the agricultural sector and Yorkshire and Humber region’s growth and economic prosperity.

Bishop Burton College is located near Beverley and delivers a broad range of college and degree level vocational, hands-on courses ranging from specialist areas such as Agriculture, Equine and Animal Management, through to Sport, Public Services, Fashion, Engineering and Construction. The College is ranked within the top 5% of colleges nationally for its Level 3 provision, as well as being rated Ofsted ‘outstanding’ for the care and support given to its students.

Applications are still being taken for September starts, as well as for apprenticeships all year round. For more information visit

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