Northumberland College has unveiled plans to deliver a multi-million pound investment programme which will further position the college as one of the region’s leading education and training providers.

Key investment will be made across all campuses at Ashington, Kirkley Hall and Berwick over the next twelve months to construct innovative, industry-focused facilities, with work starting as early as July 2019.

The new facilities will include an advanced, state-of-the-art digital academy and a new health simulation ward at Ashington, a bespoke and newly-constructed equine centre, a specialist animal management centre and veterinary nursing centre at Kirkley Hall and a brand new modern campus building at the existing Berwick site.

This is in addition to extensive refurbishment of existing buildings across the College, a range of new, highly-specialist resources for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and the construction of modern residential accommodation at Kirkley Hall.

Nigel Harrett, Principal of Northumberland College, commented, “It is an exciting time for Northumberland College and a major step forward in delivering brand new facilities and unrivalled learning opportunities for students across the region.

“Our investment plans are ambitious yet achievable and work will start to be rolled out across the different sites simultaneously over the forthcoming months. Everyone involved with the College, from staff to our commercial partners, is fully behind the plans and we expect some of the new facilities to be fully complete and available to students from September 2019.

“Students are at the heart of everything we do and the investment plan is part of a long-term, strategic vision for excellence which will support our transformational growth and development, and position the College as a leading organisation, nationally, regionally and locally. I’m looking forward to the investment programme progressing to revolutionise the College and deliver outstanding new facilities for our students, staff and the local community.”

Northumberland College, along with Sunderland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form, is part of Education Partnership North East (EPNE) which was created following the recent merger. It is one of the largest college groups in the country with a catchment area stretching from Berwick in Northumberland to Teesside.

Ellen Thinnesen, chief executive at Education Partnership North East, added:

“The investments we are looking to make across our Northumberland campuses will provide huge benefits for our students, both current and future, as well as our staff and the local communities we serve.

”Since the merger we have been busy aligning our focus at each of our campuses in Ashington, Kirkley and Berwick with key economic industries, taking into consideration in each area the needs of local employers to help shape the improvements to our educational provision.

“In doing so, we are actively looking to address our region’s skills gaps to ensure that the young people and adults we support have access to industry standard resources and high quality learning experiences. Our Northumberland focused investment programme will be transformational and will ensure our students succeed in their chosen careers, locally, regionally and nationally”.