Yorkshire contractors struggling with skills shortages could soon receive help from an unexpected quarter – the Church of England.
Leeds council has approved plans, partly funded by the church, for a city academy that will specialise in construction industry know-how with options to learn, for example, quantity surveying and engineering.

Liverpool-based property developer Intercity has pledged £1m in sponsorship for the £10-15m city academy. Another £1m will come from the diocese of Ripon and Leeds and the rest from the government.

John Carter, a spokesman for the diocese, said a formal proposal to build the school will be submitted to the Department for Education and Skills within weeks. It will be the first time a city academy designed to meet the needs of the construction industry has been proposed.

This will be the first city academy designed to meet the needs of construction

The director of education of the diocese, Ian Mackenzie, said he was confident the church would obtain government funds. He said: “It will be a brand new school on a brand new site. The design of the building will reflect the construction aspect of the curriculum.”

The school will teach a standard secondary-level curriculum including GCSEs and A-levels but up to 14 pupils will be able to specialise in building-related subjects. These will include mechanical and civil engineering and architecture, as well as surveying and building skills.