Contract signed for new £44m College

Pictured with Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry are (left) Brian Doran, Principal and Chief Executive of Southern Regional College and Margaret Tinsley, Chair of Strategy and Community Planning at Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. Picture: Michael Cooper
Pictured with Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry are (left) Brian Doran, Principal and Chief Executive of Southern Regional College and Margaret Tinsley, Chair of Strategy and Community Planning at Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. Picture: Michael Cooper

A £1.9m design contract has been signed for the new £44m Southern Regional College Campus in Craigavon.

A site close to the Watersports Centre has been earmarked for the new build which will merge the Lurgan and Portadown campuses.

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry this week attended the site of the new Craigavon campus development - which is close to Craigavon Civic Centre and Rushmere Shopping Centre.

The Minister signed the design contract for the development of three new campuses at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. The Armagh and Banbridge projects will see new campuses on the existing sites.

He said: “I am delighted to reach this critical stage in the development of these further education projects which will realise a capital investment of £90m in SRC over the next five years. The new campuses will deliver state of the art learning accommodation to meet the needs of students and staff; and to provide facilities to develop and respond to the emerging needs of employers. I am aware that there is still further work to be completed in order to realise the delivery of these hugely important projects. I commend Southern Regional College in reaching this estates project milestone.”

Mr. Jim O’Hagan, Director of Finance and Corporate Services at SRC said “This is an exciting phase in the implementation of our estates plans and we have appointed WYG Management Services Ltd. to bring forward the detailed designs of the new builds, to lead the planning process and to assist in the procurement of the main contractors to deliver the projects.”

Brian Doran, Principal and Chief Executive of South Regional College, said: “The completion of our estates strategy is fundamental to Southern Regional College fulfilling its role as a leading provider of professional and technical education and training. Our aspiration is to create learning environments that will inspire our students to reach their potential. We have an excellent record in both academic and professional and technical education and training and this can only be enhanced through the provision of new first class educational facilities. This is a key milestone for our estates project and a really positive statement of our intent to build a legacy for future generations of students within the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon areas.”

A DEL spokesperson said: “Investment in the development of the Craigavon campus is expected to be in the region of £40m. However, the final figure will be dependent upon the detailed design and will be subject to the availability of funding.”