An innovative new college is set to be built in Sheffield after Wates won the contract by impressing planners with its different approach to the development.

The company will undertake the £8.5 million project, which will begin in September and take a year to complete. Wates unveiled plans which included an innovative idea, building a five-a-side size football pitch on top of the college building in a move that will free up much needed space, the Construction Enquirer reports.

The University Technical College (UTC) will become Sheffield's first education centre of this ilk, and will be developed on the Porter Brook site in the city's Cultural Industries Quarter.

Andrew Cropley, an executive director of The Sheffield College, which is the lead sponsor of UTC Sheffield, told the news provider that the organisation "had really taken" to Wates' proposals of installing a five-a-side football pitch on the roof, which he stated would free up vital space for the building itself. He also went on to commend the decision to build within the city-centre surroundings making it easy for potential students travel to the college.

Sheffield's UTC will join a host of facilities that are opening in 2013, with similar colleges being created in Burnley, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bristol and Plymouth among others. UTCs aim to provide students aged 14 to 19 with specialised areas of study. The centres across the country have expertise in subjects such as engineering, product design, construction and health sciences.

Phil Harrison, Wates Construction managing director for the north and Midlands, said: "We are very excited to have been selected to work on such a prestigious facility for the city.

"We have delivered a range of education projects across the country and we look forward to efficiently delivering this iconic building for Sheffield and its young people."

As part of the plans, Sheffield's historic Victorian Sydney Works building will also be sympathetically restored and incorporated into the new college, which has been designed HLM Architects.

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