Morgan Sindall Construction has begun works to complete the flagship new home of Wakefield’s CAPA College. A specialist provision for students aged 16-19 from across the North of England, CAPA College provides full-time training and education in all aspects of creative and performing arts from dance and drama to musical theatre, production arts, film and media.

The groundbreaking College is already home to 250 of the country’s most talented young performers; with CAPA College graduates going on to become recognisable TV stars, West End performers and Hollywood actors.

The new building will enable CAPA College to significantly expand its provision and the partnership with Morgan Sindall Construction promises to benefit the local community with a range of professional training and employment opportunities.

The £ 9million project is being delivered on behalf of the Department for Education with support from Enhance Academy Trust. Works are set to complete in summer 2022, with the build process set to see numerous initiatives run by Morgan Sindall Construction and CAPA College to nurture local talent and create new job roles in the area.

Both CAPA College and Morgan Sindall Construction are located within Merchant Gate in the heart of Wakefield. Situated on Mulberry Way (opposite Wakefield Westgate train station), CAPA College’s new flagship home will become the gateway to Wakefield, inspiring and educating the next generation of performers and creatives in Wakefield and beyond.

Once complete, the multi-million-pound facility will house a 150-seat theatre, 10 recording studios, dance studios, drama workshops, a multimedia tech suite and an outdoor amphitheatre. The facility will also incorporate a public café with outdoor terrace, along with social learning and break out areas, lecture theatres and classrooms.

CAPA College is already one of the leading arts institutions in the North of England. As Wakefield’s only Free School, it provides life-changing opportunities for young people. CAPA College is ranked in the top 1% for student progress with graduates achieving 100% A*-C grades and going on to study at the UK’s leading universities and arts conservatoires as well as securing leading jobs in the Arts industry. The flagship new home will allow the College to double its student intake ensuring that even more people gain access to their award-winning teaching, industry-standard facilities and incredible performance opportunities.

Both Morgan Sindall Construction and CAPA College share a commitment to creating valuable employment and training opportunities across Yorkshire and beyond from their respective Wakefield bases. CAPA College’s outreach and education programme, CHARGE, works with local schools, community groups and key organisations such as the Wakefield Children and Young People’s Partnership to offer a lively events and workshop programme. However, from its new home CAPA College will be able to provide more opportunities, increased access and additional support to people from across the whole community.

During the build programme, Morgan Sindall Construction will welcome young people to the site and provide work experience placements and run career talks that will offer an insight into the rewarding opportunities available within the construction industry.

Andy Hall, managing director for Morgan Sindall Construction in Yorkshire and North East, said: “It’s great to get the project underway and we’re looking forward to seeing the facility benefit the area in so many ways. CAPA College already creates valuable education and employment opportunities for the local area, and this new facility will allow them to improve upon the brilliant work it already does.

“Located just near our own Wakefield office in the Merchant Gate development, we’re thrilled to not only be delivering the facility, but also working with a valued neighbour to create a building the whole city can be proud of.”

Claire Nicholson, principal of CAPA College, says “We are delighted for the construction of our purpose-built accommodation to re-commence. CAPA College look forward to this new facility not only ensuring that even more young people have access to high-quality training within the Arts, but also becoming a community hub for the Wakefield district.”