THE first turf of a new £29million education campus will be cut this week.
Work will begin on Sunderland College’s new city centre base this month, with the finished building to welcome up to 2,000 students and more than 120 staff, once complete in spring next year.
It will be built on land opposite Park Lane bus station and see vocational courses transferred from its Hylton Campus.
Programmes will include engineering, manufacturing, construction and car trades, travel and tourism, and catering and hospitality.
It will also feature hair, beauty and barbering facilities, a spa, bakery, travel agency, restaurant and a car repair service, all accessible to visitors.
Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott, council leader Paul Watson and college principal Anne Isherwood, will cut the first turf on Friday.
Mrs Isherwood said: “This is a fantastic occasion as we celebrate the start of work on our new campus, which we believe will breathe new life into Sunderland city centre.
“We have been working on this exciting project for many years and it is a very rewarding feeling to see these plans coming to fruition.
“The city campus has been designed to combine industry-standard facilities and outstanding teaching for our vocational and apprenticeship students, and will equip them with the skills and practical experience they need for their future careers.
“We are confident that our flagship campus will enhance the vibrancy of the city centre and will be of benefit to Sunderland for many years to come.”
The project is funded by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), Sunderland City Council and college reserves.
The land has been secured from Homes and Communities Agency.