Students give thumbs up to new £22million Sunderland College centre

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STUDENTS have given a big thumbs up to the new £22million college facilities in the city.

Sunderland College opened its state-of-the-art Visual Performing Arts and Sports buildings to the first groups of students this month.

And, the industry standard facilities at the Bede Campus have proved immediate hits with the young people.

John Rushworth, curriculum director for sport and performing arts, said: “The response from the students has been fantastic, they have been wowed by the facilities.

“Everything in the building is up to industry standard, so the students are using the same kit which is used by employers, which is a big benefit to them.”

Rosie Thornton, 17, from Humbledon, has began the photography course in the new Visual Arts centre and has been amazed by the equipment.

She said: “The course is brilliant, we are getting lots of practical things to do. There are really good cameras which you can borrow, which is good because they are too expensive to buy.”

Fellow photography student, Kirsty Charlton, 16, from Seaham, said: “I did GCSE photography at school and really enjoyed it, so decided to carry on with it at college. The facilities are brilliant, we even get the chance to work in a dark room, which I have never done before.”

The Visual Arts building also boasts a range of other top of the range areas, including a television and film studio, a cinema room, a theatre and dance studio, as well as art studios.

And the three-storey sports building is equally well kitted out with a competition standard multi-use sports hall, a fitness suite, a sports massage treatment area and sports science performance lab.

The building also accommodates the college’s development centres for elite men and women footballers, rugby players, swimmers and coaches. Mr Rushworth said: “As well as the students getting state-of-the-art facilities and being able to have courses which meet the needs of industry, we are also able to open up the buildings to the community.”

The sports building is already being used by basketball, trampolining, gymnastics, volleyball, futsal and fitness clubs for both children and adults.