The Southern Regional College (SRC) has broken ground on a major project to construct a new, state-of-the-art campus in Banbridge, which will open in 2020.
Building work on Southern Regional College’s new £15 million educational campus in Banbridge started in earnest this week after preparatory works on the Castlewellan Road site were completed on schedule to allow full construction to begin.
The new purpose-built campus, which forms part of a £95 million investment by SRC and the Department for the Economy to create three new state-of-the-art educational campuses across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon area, will open next year.
O’Hare & McGovern Limited is spearheading full build work on site, creating 150 jobs.
Designed by WYG, the campus, which is located on the existing Castlewellan Road site in Banbridge and comprising 4,500m2 of specialist accommodation, will 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.
Brian Doran, Chief Executive at SRC, said: “This exciting new project, forming part of a wider £95 million investment will dramatically improve the quality of education provision in Banbridge, provide quality facilities that will deliver an outstanding student experience and an unrivalled local environment for learning, teaching and collaboration with all our local businesses.”
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.
“By creating outstanding educational spaces and resources, Southern Regional College will continue to lead in the provision of local Further Education and Higher Education opportunities for thousands of local students, boosting economic growth and helping to build a brighter future for generations to come.”
Representing the Department for the Economy, Beverley Harrison, Director of Further Education, said: “I am delighted that the plan to deliver a new, state-of-the-art educational campus in Banbridge is advancing well.
“The new SRC campus will play a pivotal role in generating greater opportunities while boosting local skills and training provision and improving real choice in education that will help to ensure that everyone can fulfil their true potential.
“With close links to businesses, and facilities where students can share ideas to innovate and directly support our key local employers, this significant investment will reinforce our commitment to strengthening links between campus staff, students and the local business community.”
The existing campus and sports facilities, which are on the same Castlewellan Road site, will continue to operate as normal during construction.
WYG Project Manager, Caolain Boyd, said: “From the spaces created to the facilities contained, it will equip students, staff and visiting business partners with highly-advanced skills to ensure that everyone can excel in whatever path they choose or project they wish to undertake.”
A new £35 million landmark SRC campus is already progressing well in Armagh under the stewardship of local contractor Felix O’Hare and Company Limited and is on track for completion next year.
Full planning consent for a new £45 million 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.