Two buildings - EDC's old campus and new campus side-by-side, with text History of Peterlee campus and EDC logo

History Of The Peterlee Campus

East Durham College moved into its new Peterlee Campus back in January 2009. However, the college institution dates back to the 1950s.

Easington Technical College

The college was originally known as Easington Technical College and was formally opened, on Thursday 14th November 1957, by Mrs Elizabeth Wesley Nicholson and built by Joseph Huntley & Sons Ltd of Sunderland.

Easington Technical College was the first instalment of the Easington College, one of six major Technical Colleges planned under the Durham County Council's Scheme for Further Education.

Prior to completion of the college the only provision for day release students in the eastern coastal area of the Durham Coalfield was the small Mining Institute at Easington Colliery.

Began in March 1952, the college was built essentially to cater for the Mining Industry and its related crafts. Workshops and laboratories were equipped with the most modern machinery and apparatus of the day to provide students with the facilities they needed leading to the Ordinary National Certificate in Mining and City and Guilds qualifications in the crafts.

Although designated as the Easington Technical College, the building occupied an idea site in what was then the new town of Peterlee. 

837 students enrolled in the college's first year. The earliest copy of the college prospectus (part time) was published in 1957 and shows that the college offered national and general certificate courses in mining and engineering and courses for intending mine deputies. In the1958-59 prospectus full time courses were introduced.

Easington Technical College circa 1950s
View of the college

Easington Technical College Mining Science Lab 1957.jpg
Mining Science Lab

Easington Technical College Electrical Lab 1957.jpg
Electrical Science Lab

The second inslatment, included by the Minister of Education in the 1959-60 Building Programme, formed an important feature of the civic centre of the new town. The second instalment of the college was officially opened, on Wednesday 27th November 1963, by County Alderman W. Havert (a member of the County Education Committee).

It comprised of a theatre hall, gymnasium, science laboratory, heat engines and hydraulics laboratory, mechanical workshops, electrical installation workshop, mining electrical laboratory, typewriting rooms, library, classrooms, domestic science rooms, art and craft rooms, staff work and common rooms and students' common room. The main contractor was Crudens Ltd of Newcastle.

By 1963, there were 170 full-time students and 1,449 part-time, as well as 41 full-time and 66 part-time teachers.

Easington Technical College circa 1950s
External view of college and branch library

Easington Technical College Theatre Hall 1963.jpg
College Theatre Hall

Easington Technical College Sports Hall-Gymnasium 1963.jpg
College Sports Hall/Gymnasium

The Crest

The crest featured on the front cover of the college's prospectuses from 1958 to 1963. The Latin translation of Do Ut Des is 'I give in order that you may give'.

Easington Technical College crest

Peterlee Technical College

From 1975 the college become known as Peterlee Technical College.

Peterlee College

From 1984 the college become known as Peterlee College.

East Durham Community College

From 1996 the college become known as East Durham Community College.

​​East Durham and Houghall Community College old logoEast Durham & Houghall Community College (EDHCC)

On 1 June 1999 East Durham and Houghall Community College was formed by statutory instrument and represented a merger between the former East Durham Community College (formerly known as Peterlee Tertiary College in the 1980s and Peterlee College since 1989) and Durham College of Agriculture and Horticulture (also known as Houghall College).

EDC_DOT_LOGO_MONO.jpgEast Durham College (EDC)

In 2008/09 the college rebranded to become known as East Durham College.

The college's Peterlee campus relocated from its town centre site on Burnhope Way into its new £36m Willerby Grove campus in January 2009.The commencement of work was commemorated on 31st July 2007. The main contractor was Millar Construction. The college was officially opened, on 6th January 2009, by then Chair of Governors Mr Ian P. Williams.

Peterlee Campus Sports Centre

The Sport Centre was officially opened by Prince Richard, Duke of Glouchester (pictured below), on 30th March 2009.

Prince Richard, Duke of Glouchester at East Durham College

Peterlee Campus - The Lubetkin Theatre

The Lubetkin Theatre within the Peterlee Campus was officially opened by Sasha Lubetkin on 5th October 2009

Peterlee Campus - Boxing Gym

The East Durham Boxing Gymnasium within the sports centre was officially opened by local boxing hero Tony Jeffries, bronze medallist at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and former student of East Durham College.

EDTA logo colour on black RGB.jpgThe Technical Academy

In September 2011, The Technical Academy opened over on the Peterlee South West Industrial Estate. The centre offers training in engineering, manufacturing and a number of construction-related skills and was formerly opened by The Rt. Hon. John Denham MP (Labour) who was the then Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

EDC6 CMYK Colour_2.jpgEast Durham Sixth Form (ED6)

In September 2012, East Durham Sixth Form (ED6) opened within East Durham College's Peterlee Campus on Willerby Grove, so the college could once again offer students a wide selection of A-level subjects. ED6 is now thriving and learner numbers grow every year.

College Principals

Mr. G. W. Bloomfield, 1957-1958
Mr. V. Morris, 1958-1959
Mr D. T. A. Rees, 1960-1962
Mr. Lou. E. Watts, 1962-1981
Mr. Alan. A. Robinson, 1982-1984
Mr. Chris. J. Hughes, 1984-1990
Mr. Steve Broomhead, 1990-1994
Mr. William Husband (Interim), 1994-1995
Mr. Ian. W. Prescott, 1995-2010
Mr Stuart Wesselby, 2010-2011
Mr Eugene McCrossan (Interim), 2012
Mrs Suzanne Duncan, 2012 to present day