A MULTI-million pound project to improve a college in Northumberland is set to go ahead after it secured vital Government funding.
The £9.5m scheme to upgrade the Northumberland College main campus in Ashington – and its agricultural training centre at Kirkley Hall near Ponteland – has been awarded a grant of £2.88m by the Skills Funding Agency.
The college itself will invest around £6.5m in the project, which includes extensive new building, refurbishment and demolition work at the two sites to create modern teaching and learning facilities.
About £6m will be spent at the Ashington campus on developing state-of-the-art construction, engineering and vehicle maintenance workshops, and refurbished workshops for brickwork, plastering, carpentry and painting and decorating courses.
The ground floor of the campus building will be refurbished to create an interactive learning environment, supported by a new hair salon, restaurant and enterprise units. A £3.5m investment at Kirkley Hall will create new arboriculture and tractor workshops and the construction of an education block with eight classrooms, open learning suite and learning resource centre.
Last night a college spokesman said: “This project will greatly enhance the teaching and learning facilities for students, as well as attract growth, particularly in the 16 to 18-year-old age groups. The investment will provide up to date, real working environments in a number of curriculum areas, and the new facilities will also enable new courses to be introduced.”