Southern Regional College’s new £15 million landmark campus in Banbridge is well on track to opening its doors to students this September after reaching another important construction milestone.
Key representatives, including Southern Regional College’s Chief Executive Brian Doran, Economy Minister Diane Dodds, whose Department is funding the building work, and Martin Lennon from construction lead O’Hare & McGovern, gathered this week at the site to witness the new building reach its highest point.
Constructed on the existing Castlewellan Road site, the 4,500 square-metre campus will house specialist accommodation designed to facilitate world class training, professional and technical education. This building will also facilitate a dedicated Learning Resource Centre and an innovation hub space to support entrepreneurial and business enterprise as well as industry-leading digital media facilities.
Providing a wide range of full and part-time courses through to degree level, the Banbridge campus will also house a new, dedicated centre for multimedia and digital design – a first-of-its-kind for the area.
Around 150 jobs are being created within the construction phase of the project.
Southern Regional College Chief Executive, Brian Doran, said:
“I am delighted to witness the significant progress that has been made on the Banbridge campus project since the commencement of the construction work this time last year. It is extremely exciting to see the many notable and visible milestones being reached on schedule and I pay tribute to the work of our contractor, O’Hare & McGovern, and our wider estates team for getting us to this point. With the full steel structure now firmly in place, in addition to the windows, concrete floors, stairs and roof coverings being fitted along with the internal walls now being positioned and the mechanical and electrical installations under way, there is a real momentum gathering behind the build and we look forward to its completion later this year.”
Designed by WYG Group with Knox and Clayton, a key feature of the new Banbridge campus is the provision of innovation hubs through which students will directly engage with business and industry in real life projects.
Brian Doran added:
“SRC has more than 31,000 annual enrolments and this new campus, coupled with ongoing capital work in Armagh and planned work in Craigavon, will enable us to further improve the standard of education provision and deliver to our learners.”
Minister Dodds said: “I very much welcome the opportunity to view the excellent progress that is being made in the construction of Southern Regional College’s new Banbridge campus.
“The new facilities will deliver industry-leading education and training, including an innovation hub space to support entrepreneurial and business enterprise, and digital media facilities. I commend everyone involved in bringing the project to fruition and look forward to seeing this fantastic new campus open to students in September.”
The Minister continued: “The six local further education colleges are helping people right across Northern Ireland gain the skills and knowledge they need to compete for jobs and pursue fulfilling career paths. In turn, businesses have access to the skilled people that enable them to succeed and grow – helping boost the economy for everyone’s benefit.”
The Minister received a tour of the new 4,500 square-metre campus for Southern Regional College in Banbridge, which will house specialist accommodation designed to facilitate world class professional and technical education and training.
Mrs Dodds added: “This investment in SRC Banbridge is part of a wider funding package of £220million that will deliver a total of seven major capital projects right across the FE sector in Northern Ireland, helping ensure the colleges are equipped to continue delivering for learners, business and wider society, well into the future.”
A new £35million landmark SRC campus is already progressing well in Armagh under the stewardship of local contractor Felix O’Hare and Company Limited and is due to open also in September this year.
Full planning consent for a new £45million landmark Craigavon campus was granted on 16 January 2019 and the College looks forward to beginning the third of its new build projects in the near future.