College Leadership Team Celebrate Multi-Million Pound Government Funding Award

Thu, 15/04/2021 - 11:55

East Durham College’s senior leadership team couldn’t help but celebrate this week, after receiving the fantastic news that the college’s Houghall Campus, in Durham, had been selected to be part of the Department for Education’s £1.5bn FE Capital Transformation Fund.

It was the leadership team’s first meeting after the news broke over the Easter holidays and the Houghall redevelopment plans were the first item on the agenda.

The multi-million pound funding award will enable phase 2 of the college’s ambitious redevelopment plans for the Houghall estate to be realised and provide exciting new facilities for learners so they can receive the very best experience and training in land-based education.

As part of the new development, East Durham College plans to build a substantial, purpose-built teaching and learning block at the heart of the campus site which will replace existing outdated infrastructure at the college.

Although still at the planning and development stage, the college hopes the new block will include a large amount of additional classroom space, new science labs, a brand new library space, a new refectory and improved social spaces. It is also planning for the block to incorporate dedicated space for Higher Education courses, the Students’ Union, the Careers Advice team, the college’s 14-16 year old provision and SEN offer.

Additional space will also be made for employers full-cost courses and apprenticeships, and specialist classrooms for existing course areas, such as floristry, will also benefit from the new teaching space.

Further to this, the college plans to develop other aspects of the Houghall site. New lambing and sheep sheds are to be built at the college’s agriculture centre, improved landscaping and walkways between the new block and other buildings will be implemented and a new heating system will be installed.

The college will be continuing to work with the Department for Education on developing the Houghall plans and costings, and will be taking part in fortnightly updates with the DfE FE Capital Transformation Fund team.

Houghall is now the biggest specialist land-based college in the North East and this investment positions East Durham College very well to continue its growth and the range of courses on offer to its students.

It is hoped that the phase 2 development will to be completed by September 2023, with work beginning as soon as planning permission is in place.