Delivering Real Benefits
- Opportunities for everyone by increasing our curriculum provision up to degree and postgraduate level.
- Higher level apprenticeship programmes with local businesses e.g. Science, Engineering, Accountancy, Data Analytics and Cyber Security, IT Infrastructure, Food Technology and Sustainable Construction.
- Higher Education Centre to expand our full and part-time range of courses in conjunction with the local universities – many young people are currently forced to leave the Craigavon area to access further and higher education.
- Access to enhanced facilities and an increased range of vocational programmes via our local School Partnerships programme.
- Partnerships with local community organisations through the design of innovative programmes to support our unemployed and/or socially disadvantaged citizens.
Preserving and Nurturing Wildlife Habitats
- Committed to preserving and nurturing wildlife habitats in the area through the implementation of our Habitat Creation Plan, ensuring that the site’s local ecology and biodiversity is protected for future generations.
- Creating over 350 new local apprenticeship opportunities annually.
- Supplying 600-800 skilled local people each year to meet demand in the fastest-growing industrial and economic region in NI.
- Jobs will be created in the construction and operation of the new campus.
- Maintaining SRC’s status as a significant employer in the area.
- Expanding and supporting the growth of local businesses by providing access to bespoke training and knowledge transfer activities.
An Ideal Location
In 2014, SRC carried out a comprehensive assessment of suitable and available sites within the Craigavon area to find the best location.
This involved a review of sites for sale on the open market and consultation with local public bodies including the Southern Education and Library Board, Craigavon Borough Council and the Strategic Investment Board. 56 sites were initially considered which was reduced to 10 for more detailed consideration.
The site locations were assessed against six key criteria:
1. Central location to serve everyone in the Craigavon area;
2. Accessible for students and learners with good road access and public transport links including bus and rail;
3. Proximity to amenities and facilities e.g. businesses, shops and leisure facilities – a key factor for students and learners;
4. An excellent fit with development in the Craigavon central area and other significant public realm investment;
5. Neutral location perceived as a neutral and shared space and acceptable to all sides of the community;
6. Value for money for the public purse taking account of assets already in public ownership.
The site, already zoned for development (click here to view map), was acquired by SRC from Council by way of a legally-binding agreement to ensure that the plans for a state-of-the-art, low-rise building could be carefully and securely considered and developed in advance of any planning application.
Enhancing Ecology and Bio-Diversity
The College has completed a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and has used this to develop a Habitat Creation Plan that will enhance the ecological and biodiversity of the area.
Discussions, on the measures being proposed, have taken place with the Local Planning Authority and the Natural Environment Division of the Department for the Environment together with a range of ecological groups including The Woodland Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Bug Life, Co. Armagh Wildlife Society and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Conservation.
The Habitat Creation Plan will incorporate substantive mitigation measures such as bat highways, carefully selected lighting as well as proposals to improve and enhance ecology and biodiversity within a dedicated habitat creation zone.
This zone will consist of carefully selected trees, shrubs, flora and fauna which will attract a range of insects and invertebrates including the Wood White Butterfly currently located on the North Lake.
Delivering for Everyone
Through a constructive consultation process, we have listened to the concerns and suggestions of key stakeholder groups and have incorporated these within the design of this flagship project, ensuring that it services the needs of all park users within the local community.
Preserving the Natural Environment
The setting of the site is one of its greatest strengths and has been at the forefront of minds in the design, development and planning discussions. Significant emphasis has been placed on ensuring that the building height is blended with the existing tree level height to ensure that the campus integrates into the idyllic surroundings. As far as possible, the building will be screened using a range of trees which are native to the area and the lighting used will be sympathetic to its environment for both park users and local wildlife.
Extended Community Sharing
The Craigavon Campus facilities, such as hairdressing and beauty salons, complementary therapies facility, a coffee bar, restaurant and cafeteria, will be available for the community to use - creating a shared space for all.
As a shared and open space, no fences will be erected around the building, ensuring that the campus is a welcoming and accessible environment for everyone.
Enhancing Existing Amenities
Existing pathways and cycleways within the SRC Craigavon Campus area will be retained and maintained. During the construction phase, we will ensure that disruption to the mountain bike trail is minimised and we will work closely with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to enhance this bike facility. We will also provide a bicycle cleaning station and a landscaped area that will include picnic benches for everyone’s recreational use.
Building for the Future
The College campus will occupy a site of around 13 acres within the existing area zoned for development. The current design and plans for this low-rise building ensure that the campus comfortably meets immediate and long-term educational and capacity needs. Future-proofed for generations, there will be no further expansion.