Liverpool’s £2.5m digital and coding academy will boost the city region economy with vital skills

The City of Liverpool College has awarded a £2.5m contract to Crossfield Construction to create the relaunched School of Computer Science and Digital to open in September. Tony McDonough reports

The City of Liverpool College’s Arts Centre in Myrtle Street, home to the new digital academy

Liverpool will be home to the first purpose-designed digital and coding academy in the UK from September this year.

The City of Liverpool College has awarded a £2.5m contract to Crossfield Construction to create the relaunched School of Computer Science and Digital.

Crossfield will transform and expand the existing facilities and take over two floors of the college’s Arts Centre in Myrtle Street.

The academy will be equipped with the latest digital technology and software and will teach young people coding, software development and a range of other digital skills, including online marketing and games design.

It is designed to provide skilled people for the Liverpool city region’s booming digital and creative sector which is now worth £1bn a year.

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The college anticipates student numbers in the School of Computer Science and Digital will grow from its current level of about 300 at any time to up to 500.

Students will be able to pursue a range of qualifications, from level 1 right through to higher degree level. The academy will also be used by apprentices.

Elaine Bowker, principal of The City of Liverpool College, said: “This investment means we will be better equipped than ever to deliver a pipeline of young people with the kind of skills which are essential for businesses in the 21st century.

“It is a signal of our focus on providing skills and qualifications which meet the needs of businesses and which directly contribute to the city region’s economic growth ambitions.”

Elaine Bowker, principal of The City of Liverpool College

Crossfield Construction is based in Brunswick Dock, just outside Liverpool city centre, and works across health, education, industrial, residential, commercial and retail sectors.

During construction of the academy, Crossfield will be implementing a full student engagement programme at the college which will see work placements, site visits for primary school children, mentoring and guest speaker talks be held.

The company, which started in 2012, wants the project to become a “learning environment for students of the college and the local community”.

Part of the overall funding for the project is due to be received from the Liverpool City Region Skills Capital Investment Fund, which is part of the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

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