City college toasts 150th year with whole host of events

LANDMARK: Wakefield College has been providing education for a century-and-a-half.
LANDMARK: Wakefield College has been providing education for a century-and-a-half.

Wakefield College is celebrating a special landmark as it marks 150 years of providing education and training.

The College, which traces its roots back to the 19th century, is planning a range of activities over the coming months to mark the occasion including the unveiling of a memorial timeline, competition with a local school and an exhibition showcasing the history of the site.

The College has also revealed a new commemorative logo as part of the celebrations.

The hashtag #wakeycollege150 has also been set up so that people can join in and make their own contribution to the celebrations via social media.

Commenting on the milestone, principal Sam Wright said: “This is a monumental moment in the history of Wakefield College as we celebrate 150 years of providing education and training.

“It’s a proud moment for myself, staff and students both past and present. Thousands of students of all ages, abilities and backgrounds have walked through our doors and transformed their lives through learning.

“We’d love people to join in and share their own experiences of the college with us.

“The College today continues to play a pivotal role in the educational and economical regeneration of the district and we continue to be as committed as ever in helping learners realise their ambitions.”

The foundations for Wakefield College were laid in 1868 with the establishment of The Industrial and Fine Art Institution that was set up thanks in part to the profits from the Wakefield Industrial and Fine Art Exhibition three years earlier.

The new institution aimed to benefit the young people of Wakefield by providing a practical education giving them skills necessary to survive 19th century industrial life. The turn of the 20th century saw an era of consolidation for the organisation with the birth of the Wakefield Technical and Art School.

The 1950s saw the birth of Wakefield Technical and Art College, the 1970s and 1908s saw it take charge of a campus in Hemsworth and the 1990s saw the College adopt its current name, take control of the of former Thornes House Grammar School and gain independence from local authority control.