Work starts on college’s multi-million-pound revamp

Wilmott Dixon senior sitemanager Chris Fenwick, North East LEP vice chairman Andrew Hodgson and East Durham College Principal Suzanne Duncan.
Wilmott Dixon senior sitemanager Chris Fenwick, North East LEP vice chairman Andrew Hodgson and East Durham College Principal Suzanne Duncan.
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Work is underway on East Durham College’s multi-million-pound redevelopment of the Houghall Campus.

The building work on the Durham-based campus will see a host of improvements to the main building, including a new lobby and reception area, improved classrooms and learning spaces.

The work will also see new buildings created to accommodate a number of course areas currently located further down the campus site.

A new animal care centre, including aviary, dog kennels and a dog agility area will be built.

Agricultural courses will also move from Houghall Farm as cattle, pig and sheep units plus grain stores are also erected.

Funding for the project was awarded to the college from The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), with a £10m capital investment as part of the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

Andrew Hodgson, North East LEP board member, said: “The North East LEP is delighted to be able to contribute £10m to this major redevelopment of East Durham College’s facilities.

“It will increase the college’s capacity to cater for more students, offering new high-quality real-life work environments, transforming the site and demonstrating the college’s and the North East LEP’s commitment to support the growth of skills in the local economy.”

David Butler, East Durham College chairman of the corporation, added: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank the North East LEP for this contribution and thank them for recognising the importance of land-based skills training to the North East economy.”

East Durham College principal Suzanne Duncan is delighted to see the work get underway and can’t wait to see it progress over the next 12 months. She said: “It’s great to see this work finally get underway.

“A lot of people have worked really hard to get us to this stage in the redevelopment of the Houghall campus.

“The work started here will significantly improve learning and teaching facilities at Houghall and provide a learning environment fit for the 21st century and beyond.

“This will be a real milestone for land-based education in the North East.

“There is a long way to go in this development over the next year but I can’t wait to see the completed work ready for the start of the next academic year in September 2016.”