CROSS party support has been added to calls to bring the proposed High Speed Rail College to the city as the York Central site is officially put forward for the bid.

York's political party group leaders have all backed calls for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills to select the city as the location for the proposed college, which is set to create up to 2,000 apprenticeships in connection with the HS2 project.

Their support sits alongside the On Track for York campaign, launched by The Press to bring the college to York, which has welcomed on board every secondary school in the city as well as business group leaders in York and North Yorkshire.

The Department for BIS is currently consulting on the college location, inviting bids by April 30.

The York bid is being submitted as part of an application by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

Within that application City of York Council, Network Rail and the National Railway Museum will outline the case for York.

Yesterday the organisations announced the proposed hub would be located at the York Central Site, next to the rail station in York, on land owned by Network Rail.

Coun James Alexander, leader of City of York Council, who represents York & North Yorkshire for HS2 Task Force, said: “As one of Europe’s largest city centre brownfield sites, York Central has huge potential for development and is an ideal location for the HS2 college, which will sit side-by-side with new rail operating and training centre.

“We welcome this proposal from Network Rail and support from other key business in York.

"I’d also like to thank Coun Steward and Coun Aspden for joining me in a united cross-party approach in backing calls for the proposed High Speed Rail College to be brought to the city.

" I also look forward to working with Roger Marsh and Barry Dodd as chairmen of the Leeds City Region LEP and York, North Yorkshire & East Riding LEP respectively, to secure this for the benefit of Yorkshire and the North.

“It makes sense for the new college to be based here to benefit from an unrivalled skill base, industry connections and demand.”

Conservative leader Coun Chris Steward added: "I am happy to back the campaign for the High Speed Rail College in York, which would build on York’s lengthy and strong railway history.

"Although there has been considerable change the constant has been the skill of York workers in the rail industry and it’s vital we take steps to build on this."