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Duke gives Leeds college seal of approval

The UK’s only specialist construction college, Leeds College of Building, has enjoyed a royal visit following the successes of its students.

The Duke of Gloucester requested a tour of Leeds College of Building’s North Street Site and to meet the Principal and students. He is renowned for being passionate about construction after studying architecture at Cambridge University and working as an architect in London before his family obligations and royal duties took over.  He now represents his cousin, The Queen, at royal engagements.

The Duke was met by Principal Ian Billyard and toured the College which included watching a Computer Aided Design demonstration, talking to students studying HND’s in Construction & Built Environment and visiting the Services Department where he met with Plumbing and Heating & Ventilation students. He also visited the timber and wood machining workshops, where he watched students making a plaque in honour of his visit which he later unveiled.

He was joined by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant J.J.E Brennan, the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire and his wife and the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor.

After unveiling the plaque the Duke commented that it had given him great pleasure to visit the College and to see so many talented trainees of the construction industry. He had read that the industry needs 100,000 new recruits each year to keep up with the demand, and that although the industry had taken a dip, he was confident it would once again boom. 

The Duke also said that it was great to visit a College that recognises the importance of bringing new people into the industry who are competent, capable and experts at what they do and that it was encouraging to see the staff passing on their knowledge to the next generation. The Duke finally commented on the importance of apprenticeships and what a fantastic alternative they provide to avoiding the debt of University.

Ian Billyard, Principal at Leeds College of Building, explains: “The Duke has read about the numerous awards our students have been winning at both national and international levels and due to his keen interest in architecture and construction was eager to find out more about what we do here in Leeds.

“We pride ourselves on providing the highest standard of training and education and it’s fantastic that our students and tutors are getting the recognition they deserve. A Royal visit is testament to this ethos and we are delighted that he chose to come and visit us.”