Economy Minister Diane Dodds today opened Southern Regional College’s new £15million campus in Banbridge.
This state-of-the-art 4,500 sq m campus provides a strengthened range of further and higher education courses, skills improvement and training opportunities, including apprenticeships, across a range of specialist subject areas.
Speaking after performing the official opening, the Minister said: “I am very pleased to open this fantastic new campus for Southern Regional College. It provides exceptional facilities and will see the college continue to deliver for learners for many years to come.
“A new dedicated innovation hub will also boost the college’s ability to support local business, through the provision of advice, skills development and student innovation solutions.
“All of our local colleges provide high quality business support, as well as education and training to people of all ages and abilities. The development of skills will be at the centre of Northern Ireland’s economic recovery and the colleges play a crucial role in this.”
The Minister added: “This new campus for SRC in Banbridge is the latest milestone as my Department continues investment in the further education estate.”
The new campus, designed by Knox Clayton Ltd, managed by Tetratek Consulting NI and built by Newry-based contractor O’Hare & McGovern Ltd, saw the creation of more than 150 jobs during its construction. The building’s new facilities include a dedicated Learning Resource Centre, an industry-leading multimedia and digital design centre, and a spacious auditorium capable of hosting a wide range of events, exhibitions and seminars.
Project delivery was managed by the college’s Project Team with support provided by the Project Board and SRC’s Board of Governors. This management and support coupled with the efforts of the design and construction teams saw the project delivered within budget and the required timescales despite the impacts of Covid-19.
Southern Regional College Chief Executive, Brian Doran, said: “This is a transformational investment for the future for Banbridge and for the wider area and I’m delighted that its official ministerial opening is timed when our communities and our economy need it most.
“Designed as a specialist centre for Digital and Creative Media, this campus is much more than that. It has always been and will continue to be anchored at the heart of the community, providing upskilling and reskilling opportunities for all, from adult education through to apprenticeships and degree level qualifications.
“I also see this world-class facility being used to support local business, to help industry innovate and grow, and I have every confidence that this will play a significant role in regional economic recovery in a post-Covid era.”
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