Southern Regional College (SRC) has officially broken ground at its new Banbridge campus. A ceremony was held 30th January on site at Castlewellan Road to celebrate the milestone as the £15m project commences construction this week.
Banbridge campus marks the second of three projects to deliver state-of-the-art educational facilities under a £95m investment plan from the SRC and Department for the Economy. Designed by Tetra Tech, the projects have received input from the organisation’s multidisciplinary teams, including project management, architecture, engineering, environment, and planning.
Local contractor O’Hare & McGovern Ltd. will lead the full building and construction of the facilities, creating 150 jobs. Once complete, the Banbridge campus will feature roughly 4,500m2 of accommodation that will see it become a centre of specialism for digital, media, and design – a first-of-its-kind for the area.
To support this, new learning facilities will be implemented to augment the student experience and nurture entrepreneurship, including a modern learning resources centre, integrated student social areas, innovation hubs, and industry-leading digital media facilities.
Caolain Boyd, Principal Project Manager at Tetra Tech, who attended the ground-breaking ceremony, said: “Carefully considered and designed to accurately meet the needs of the local community, the new Banbridge campus represents an exciting, forward-thinking approach to delivering educational opportunity, skills training, and real-life business experience.”
“From the spaces created to the facilities contained, it will equip students, staff, and visiting business partners with highly-advanced skills to ensure that everyone can excel in whatever path they choose or project they wish to undertake.”
Both campuses at Banbridge and Armagh are scheduled to open in 2020, with plans for a Craigavon campus approved earlier this month. The £35m Armagh campus features about 14,000m2 of specialist accommodation for students in vocational areas, with 16 general classrooms, 16 information technology laboratories, and 48 specialist teaching spaces.
Brian Doran, Chief Executive at SRC, said: “By creating outstanding educational spaces and resources, Southern Regional College will continue to lead in the provision of local Further Education and Higher Education opportunities for thousands of local students, boosting economic growth and helping to build a brighter future for generations to come.”
Representing the Department for the Economy, Beverley Harrison, Director of Further Education, said: “It is always exciting to see great work and progress and I’m delighted that the plan to deliver a new, state-of-the-art educational campus in Banbridge is advancing well.”
“The new SRC campus will play a pivotal role in generating greater opportunities while boosting local skills and training provision and improving real choice in education that will help to ensure that everyone can fulfill their true potential.”
The College has more than 31,000 annual enrolments and delivers a plethora of higher-level professional and technical courses. For more information, please visit SRC’s website.