Leeds City College

Leeds City College is the largest further education establishment in the City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England with around 26,000 students, 2,300 staff, with an annual turnover of £78 million, .[1] It officially opened on 1 April 2009.[2][3] The College was granted official status in January 2009 and was formed from three large colleges, Park Lane College, Leeds Thomas Danby College and Leeds College of Technology.[1] The college is a member of the Collab Group (formerly the 157 Group) of 35 high performing state sixth form colleges and colleges of further education.[4][5]

Leeds City College
Cookridge Street

West Yorkshire

Coordinates53.801°N 1.558°W / 53.801; -1.558
TypeFurther Education college
Established1 April 2009 (merged)
Department for Education URN135771 Tables
Principal & CEOColin Booth
Number of studentsc26,000

On 1 August 2011 the college expanded further with the merger of the three sites of Joseph Priestley College in Rothwell, Beeston and Morley.[6] On the same day it also became the owner of a newly re-constituted Leeds College of Music, which operates with a level of independence as a wholly owned company of the Leeds City College Group.[7] The College offers a wide range of qualifications including A Levels, BTECs and other vocational qualifications. It offers industry standard qualifications in sectors such as Health and Social Care, Food and Catering and Hair and Beauty, amongst others.

In early 2019 the overarching body, Leeds City College Group, was renamed to Luminate Education Group to better reflect its increasing portfolio of institutions with Leeds City College becoming one of the members along with Leeds College of Music, Keighley College and the White Rose Academies. On 1 August 2019 Harrogate College transferred from Hull College Group to Luminate Education Group.[8]


The existing five sites of the three forming colleges continued in use, and were named as follows:[9]

  • Thomas Danby Campus, former Leeds Thomas Danby site, with specialist provision in catering and hospitality. This site was closed in September 2013 and activities relocated to the new Printworks Campus.[10]
  • Technology Campus, former Leeds College of Technology site with specialist provision in electrical and engineering crafts and computing, closed July 2019. It had been home to the Health, Social Care, Childcare and Public Services courses.
  • Park Lane Campus, former Park Lane College Leeds site, with specialist provision in business training courses. In 2016 it was announced the site would close in September 2018 but the site will remain open for another year. In 2019 Technology Campus will close and course move to a brand new site on Quarry Hill.
  • Horsforth Campus, former Park Lane College Horsforth site (closed June 2017)
  • Keighley Campus, former Park Lane College Keighley site and now known as Keighley College,[11] with specialist provision in trade/construction programmes

In September 2011 a new site was opened after a college merger:

In September 2013 a new site was opened:

  • Printworks Campus, in Hunslet Road, Leeds, incorporating the Grade II listed print halls of the former Alf Cooke printworks and purpose-built new buildings.[12]

The college also initially operated from 12 other centres in Leeds;[13] of these only Deacon House (Seacroft), Enfield Centre and Joseph Priestley Campus, Beeston remain in use.

In September 2019 a new site opened at Quarry Hill Campus. This new site was estimated to cost £60 million and is home to the School of Creative Arts, the School of Social Science, higher education provision in the creative arts and some space allocated to Leeds College of Music.[14] Quarry Hill Annexe is located close by in Bridge Street.

Reasons for merger

The decision to merge the three colleges was agreed by the three institutions involved with the joint aim being:[15]

"...to raise achievement levels in Leeds and Keighley, offer more courses to suit the needs of everyone from school leavers to employers, and enhance our facilities to be amongst the best in the country".

With the three colleges offering many similar courses, one of the major advantages of having a unified education institution in the city is that duplication of courses is eliminated and the provision of centralised services to learners.


According to the Leeds College Merger website,[16] the Secretary of State gave official approval of the merger in January 2009 with the three colleges being dissolved on 31 March 2009. From 1 April 2009, Leeds City College would come into force with a new identity and from then on, publicity campaigns would run to extend the awareness of the new college. New students will be enrolled to the new Leeds City College from September 2009.

Funding for the merger

It was assumed that the primary funding body for Further Education in England, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), had ring-fenced a capital grant to help fund the merger. Although no actual figure was published, an article in the Yorkshire Evening Post in December 2006 spoke of up to £200 million being made available.[17]

However, news hit the headlines in spring 2009 of a serious and unexpected financial deficit within the LSC's national Building Colleges for the Future program,[18] from where the grant would normally have been allocated. This has cast doubts on how just how much money (if any) will be made available for this merger, and when it would be released.

See also


  1. Ofsted report March 2010 Retrieved 29 June 2010
  2. 'Keeping you in touch with merger news'
  3. "Leeds City College open for business". The Leeds college merger. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
  4. 157 Group Archived 2 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 29 July 2010
  5. Belgutay, Julia (14 October 2016). "157 Group to be renamed the Collab Group in ambitious new strategy". TES. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  6. 'Merger News' Archived 1 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. 'Strategic Alliance receives approval' Archived 4 August 2012 at Archive.today
  8. "Troubled Hull College Group to de-merge one of three colleges". FE Week.
  9. "College merger". Leeds City College. Archived from the original on 1 December 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  10. "Thomas Danby Campus". Leeds City College. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  11. Keighley College
  12. "Printworks Campus". Leeds City College. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  13. "College Centres". Leeds City College. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  14. "Quarry Hill Campus". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  15. "College Merger". Leeds City College. Archived from the original on 1 December 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  16. The Leeds College Merger Archived 14 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  17. £200m colleges merger proposal
  18. College Building scheme 'flawed'
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