Contractor chosen for £9.5m upgrade

Northumberland College principal and chief executive Stuart Cutforth.
Northumberland College principal and chief executive Stuart Cutforth.

Northumberland College has selected the company which will oversee a multi-million pound revamp of its two main campus sites.

The facility has appointed the infrastructure, support services and construction group Robertson as contractor for its £9.5m upgrade work.

Capital was approved for both the main Ashington and rural Kirkley Hall campuses earlier this year after a successful Skills Funding Agency bid of £3m that was matched by £6.5m from funds.

Principal and chief executive at the college, Stuart Cutforth, said: “We have been working closely with consultants and the appointment of Robertson means work on our campus improvements will start soon.

“We also have plans to develop both the Ashington and Kirkley Hall campuses further with plans for a rural business centre at Kirkley Hall at an advanced stage. So it’s an exciting time for both our students and community.”

The upgraded Ashington site will create state-of-the-art construction, engineering and motor vehicle facilities, refurbished brickwork, plastering, carpentry and painting and decorating workshops.

Refurbishment of the ground floor of the main building will create an interactive environment supported by a new hair and beauty salon and restaurant.

At the Kirkley Hall campus, near Ponteland, there will be new arboriculture and tractor workshops, a new-build education block with eight classrooms, open learning suite and learning resource centre.

Andy McLeod, regional managing director at Robertson, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to this project, our teams are ready to deliver these magnificent new facilities, works have been very carefully planned to ensure Northumberland College continue to deliver education and training to students whilst the campus upgrade is ongoing.

“We are also looking forward to working with the college and providing learning opportunities for students during the construction period before the works are completed in September 2014.”

The improved facilities are aimed at greatly enhancing the teaching and learning facilities for students, by providing new facilities.