East Durham College’s Houghall Campus Awarded Multi-Million Pound Government Funding

Thu, 08/04/2021 - 12:07

The region’s largest specialist land-based college is celebrating today’s government announcement that it will receive multi-million pound government funding to develop a new state-of-the-art teaching and learning facility.

 

East Durham College’s Houghall Campus, situated on the outskirts of Durham City, is one of 16 colleges across England to benefit from the government’s £1.5 billion FE Capital Transformation Fund, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan announced today (8 April).

The fund was first launched in September 2020 by the Prime Minister to rebuild and transform college estates and create modern, fit-for-purpose spaces that meet the needs of students and the communities they serve. Houghall is one of 16 colleges nationally, who have been successful in securing funds in the third phase, with funding expected to be awarded this Autumn.

Suzanne Duncan, Principal and Chief Executive, said: “We are all absolutely thrilled at this amazing news. It’s obviously been an incredibly hard year for the education sector, and of course the whole of the country, so to receive this news is a fantastic boost for our brilliant students, hard-working staff and the region.

“The 476-acre Houghall estate was lucky enough to receive £10m from the North East LEP’s Local Growth Fund back in 2016, which enabled us to complete phase one of our redevelopment masterplans for the site. However, due to the sheer size of the campus and decades of underinvestment there is still a massive job to do to get the whole site fit for teaching in the 21st century.

“This capital funding award will enable us to complete phase two, with the building of a brand new teaching and learning block that will also include a new science labs, higher education centre, library, refectory and gym.

“Houghall has seen its student numbers grow massively over the last decade or so and the importance of the land based skills and training we provide are vital to the future growth and prosperity of our region, so this new development will help secure that future and allow us to continue to grow our higher level technical skills provision in fantastic new facilities we can all be very proud of.”

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan said: “It is fantastic news that we are launching the next phase of this transformation programme, working with a small number of colleges that are some of the most in need of support to upgrade and revitalise their estates.

“As we recover from the pandemic, it is vital our colleges continue to be great places to learn with excellent facilities.