Northumberland College has announced the appointment of real estate consultants – Hollis – to project manage the first phase of their multi-million-pound investment programme, which, it is hoped, will bring significant benefits to students and the local economy.
Nigel Harrett, principal of Northumberland College, said: “I am delighted to be working with Hollis, which will take us a step closer to realising our ambitious new vision of excellence for Northumberland College.
“The new investments will provide our students with an outstanding learning environment and state-of-the-art, industry standard facilities.
“It will further support the college in transforming lives, improving the student experience and ensuring the delivery of an innovative and career-focused curriculum.”
Phase one of the extensive re-development programme includes the creation of an advanced, state-of-the-art digital academy, and a new health simulation ward at the college’s Ashington campus.
The student experience is hoped to be enhanced with the development of a dynamic student hub, providing a central space for students to relax and engage with each other, and access a wide range of specialist support staff and services, such as advice on finance, careers, wellbeing, and student support.
Its Kirkley Hall campus near Ponteland, will see the construction of a bespoke equine centre, including a new 38 x 48 metre square indoor arena with viewing gallery – subject to planning permission, a new education hub to accommodate the delivery of equine management skills such as farriery, dentistry, and physiotherapy, plus renovations to existing equine facilities.
The improvements will enable the college to become a centre of excellence for equine education and the facilities will be available for hire to local riding clubs and support local horse owners in the management of their own animals.
Animal management students can benefit from a renovation project within the on-site zoo at Kirkley Hall to enhance all teaching spaces and animal enclosures.
Two new learning spaces will also be created, the zoo’s collection of animals will be expanded and a state-of-the-art zoo kitchen will be developed to ensure students can achieve the core competencies in animal husbandry.
A range of new, highly-specialist and inspiring resources for students with special educational needs and disabilities, SEND, at Kirkley Hall will include a modern and innovative space to allow students to develop their independence, raise their aspirations, and be fully included within all aspects of college life.
It is hoped that the new facilities will support them to achieve their potential in a stimulating learning environment, with a reshaped curriculum personalised to their individual needs.
The investments will provide staff and students with new facilities and support the development of high-level technical skills.
There will also be extensive refurbishment of existing buildings across the college and works, to improve health and safety standards including brand new windows, a modern heating system, new boundary fencing and refurbished classrooms.
The first phase of the redevelopment programme is already underway and the college’s facilities are beginning to transform into a modern, careers and skills focused centre for school leavers and adults in Northumberland.
Hollis has awarded contracts to North East based companies including; SV Rutter, EHL UK, Group Tegula Ltd, MJ Phoenix and Aptus Ltd, to progress works at Northumberland College.
David Cox, partner at Hollis, said: “We have worked with Northumberland College for a number of years and are delighted to be project managing this re-development programme.
“We are honoured to be involved in such a significant investment and bringing phase one of this vision to fruition.
“We are committed to working with local contractors and consultants throughout the project, which will be hugely beneficial to the North East region.”
Northumberland College merged with Sunderland College in March this year to create Education Partnership North East, one of the largest college groups in the UK.
The multi-million-pound investment programme is part of the group’s bold new strategic plan to make Northumberland College one the region’s leading education and training providers.