HRH The Princess Royal at East Durham College's Houghall Campus unveiling the commemorative plaque

HRH The Princess Royal officially opens Redeveloped Houghall Campus

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal opened East Durham College’s redeveloped Houghall Campus, Durham, during a visit on Friday 13th January 2017.

The region’s leading land-based College recently underwent an exciting £12.75 million redevelopment as part of its plans to fully modernise the entire site, which originally opened in 1938.

After a short presentation when Her Royal Highness met the College’s leadership team and governors, she then undertook a tour of the College, to see the new facilities and learn how the college is training its students in a range of land-based disciplines.

During the tour, The Princess heard from students and staff about their equine studies, agriculture and small animal care and management courses, and learnt about how the new facilities have revolutionised their learning environments.

The tour route took in: the equine centre, with its new 28-stable block and 40m x 40m indoor arena; the new agriculture centre with its cattle and pig units; and the new small animal care centre, spending time in the dog grooming studio, lizard workshop and small mammals workshop; and ended at the refurbished main front building.

Her Royal Highness then spoke to a group representing the companies that consulted, designed and built the new facilities to learn more about the building project, as well as meeting a group of former students to find out what they did after their training at Houghall.

The Royal visit culminated in the unveiling of a commemorative plaque within the reception area joined by invited guests, staff and students from all areas of the College.

Suzanne Duncan, Principal and Chief Executive of East Durham College, said: “We are honoured to have HRH The Princess Royal visit us to officially open these fabulous new facilities.

“This fantastic £12.75 million development has gone a great way to restoring Houghall to its former glory, and providing our staff and students with a range of new facilities they can be proud of, and thrive in, as students pursue their studies here with us and prepare to move on into a huge range of different and exciting careers or on to further study at university.

“The College here at Houghall will be celebrating its 80th anniversary next year and it’s with great optimism that we can look forward to the next 80 years.”

Mr Gerard Salvin, High Sherriff of Durham and his wife Mrs Geogina Salvin, Cllr. Edward Bell, Chairman of Durham County Council & Mayor of Durham City and his Consort Cllr. Mrs Jennifer Bell, and Mr Grahame Morris MP for Easington were among the dignitaries for the royal opening of the new facilities.

You can see all the photos from this historic day in an album on our Flickr account.