Lib Dem election hopeful vows to support Harrogate College's £22m rebuild as Sir Ed Davey backs his candidate in person

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey visited Harrogate College today as the party’s battle bus pulled into town in bright sunshine on the campaign trail.

Mr Davey was in North Yorkshire to show his support for the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Tom Gordon, who joined him on the visit under the watchful eye of TV news crews.

Harrogate College Principal Danny Wild used the opportunity to discuss the college’s proposed £22 million campus redevelopment plans with the visitors.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pointing to what he said were all the benefits the major rebuild would bring for North Yorkshire, local students and the economy, Mr Wild said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Sir Ed Davey and Tom Gordon to Harrogate College and show them some of the life-changing work we do here.

Harrogate College Principal Danny Wild with Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey and Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Tom Gordon. (Picture contributed)Harrogate College Principal Danny Wild with Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey and Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Tom Gordon. (Picture contributed)
Harrogate College Principal Danny Wild with Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey and Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Tom Gordon. (Picture contributed)

“We highlighted how the project is currently at risk due to a judicial review called for by a local commercial property developer, which will likely mean that the whole planning process has to be re-run and so push our completion date back to September, 2026.

“That would push the scheme outside of the strict time limits that are attached to the DfE funding we have secured for it, so we are now focused on lobbying for that to be extended.

“We were heartened to see our visitors’ enthusiasm for our proposals and to hear Tom Gordon say he would be doing all he can, should he succeed at the election, to help us see them through to completion.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"But we will need similar support from the area’s residents, organisations and businesses - many of which we are proud to count as partners - to ensure we obtain this funding extension so we can grasp an opportunity that would bring so many benefits to North Yorkshire.”

Visit to Harrogate College - Lib Dem Party Leader Sir Ed Davey pictured with art and design students today. (Picture contributed)Visit to Harrogate College - Lib Dem Party Leader Sir Ed Davey pictured with art and design students today. (Picture contributed)
Visit to Harrogate College - Lib Dem Party Leader Sir Ed Davey pictured with art and design students today. (Picture contributed)

Harrogate College’s major campus redevelopment is set to include:

Replacing the current main college building with a sustainable, modern property.

Providing a host of new state-of-the art facilities, including a renewable energy centre, mock hospital ward and digital technology suite.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If elected as Harrogate and Knaresborough’ MP in the General Election on July 4, Lib Dem candidate Gordon said he would be committed to helping the development succeed.

"Education is something I am passionate about,” said Mr Gordon.

"I previously went to Selby College and was on the board of governors there.

“I will be more than happy to work with Harrogate College to make sure the funding for this important project is secured.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Education and skills, for people of all ages, are very important to the Lib Dems which is why our manifesto has so much to say about them.

Also referring to the new campus, Sir Ed Davy added: “Let’s hope that next time I’m here we’re opening it!”

Before returning to the Lib Dem’s battle bus, the party leader joined Tom Gordon in learning about the wide range of technical courses the college delivers.

They also took advantage of the sunny weather to join art and design students at their easels outside the main entrance and had a go at some drawing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A list of all candidates standing in Harrogate and Knaresborough can be found here (under the Statement of Persons Nominated section): https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/your-council/elections-and-voting/general-elections