Durham student Michael Soler joined dignitaries from New College Durham and Esh Construction to take part in a ‘steel signing’ ceremony to mark the completion of the first phase of work on the college’s new technical and higher education building “T.H.E. Hub”.

Last week, Andy Broadbent, Principal & Chief Executive of New College Durham, Alison Maynard, Deputy Principal, Paul Bradley, Chief Finance Officer, Karl Fairley, Deputy Chief Executive alongside Grant Watson, Contracts Manager and Kate Marshall, Social Value Manager from Esh Construction signed their names on the building’s steel framework. Michael Soler was asked to join them as a representative of the student body. Michael is currently on extended work placement at Esh Construction as part of the T-Level in Construction: Civil Engineering he is studying at the college.

The Technical and Higher Education Hub will offer a new teaching and innovation space at the Framwellgate Moor Campus, New College Durham.  This state-of-the-art education facility will feature 23 new teaching spaces including an immersive suite, an early years’ foundation stage nursery, a sensory room, a hospital ward, a dental suite, an E-Sports arena, cyber security facilities, specialist I.T. classrooms and science laboratories.  In addition, the building will also have several collaborative and break out spaces for students to work and socialize in a modern environment.

Andy Broadbent, Principal and CEO at New College Durham is delighted to be adding this new facility to the campus.

He said: “At New College Durham, we pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional learning experience for all our students. We continually invest in our campus, classrooms and equipment to ensure our students have access to the most cutting-edge technology for their chosen field. The new facilities will be used to deliver technical and higher qualifications at level three and above giving students the skills they need to access high-value employment opportunities in priority sectors.”

Kate Marshall, Social Value Manager at Esh Construction, the contractor responsible for delivering the new build, said: “I am proud to be part of the ceremony to mark this key milestone within the construction phase. Even during development, we are able to use the building as a learning tool for students.

“In addition to the T-Level placement for Michael, we were recently part of the ‘Find Your Futures’ event, a SEND careers day for students with additional needs. Students visited our live New College Durham site and spoke with members of our site team to gain an insight into the roles within construction and routes into the industry. We were able to offer an extremely valuable insight into the world of work that simply cannot be obtained in a classroom.”

It is hoped the building will be completed in July 2023 ready for students joining New College in September 2023.