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College expansion plans after new e-shop launch
The Lord Mayor of Bradford praised the district’s hidden talent as he officially opened a fast-expanding Ilkley company’s new premises.
Councillor Dale Smith said the district hid its talent “extraordinarily well” as he opened online training provider Virtual College’s E-shop in Springs Pavement, Springs Lane, on Friday.
The company promotes itself as the leading e-learning provider in the UK, with more than 800,000 online learners, and was recently ranked the 51st fastest-growing company in Yorkshire.
Established in 1995, it designs bespoke online training courses for a variety of companies and organisations, including healthcare.
“I think Bradford district is a bit like a bushel – it hides its talent so extraordinarily well, and yet it has so much talent to display,” said Coun Smith.
“Although I’m a governor of Bradford College, I never appreciated Virtual College’s huge size. During the past four years, it has doubled its employees to 90.”
Founded in Bradford, Virtual College moved to Ilkley in 2003. Its offices are based in Marsel House, Stephenson Way, close to Ilkley Station, but it has now taken over a unit previously occupied by a clothing shop to provide extra space and a new public face for the business. Administrative support and sales staff have moved into the unit.
A public drop-in was held on Friday for people to discover more about the college’s work.
Chief executive, Rod Knox, expects further growth in the years to come.
He said: “We’re a growing company – we will have to expand.”