Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.47.47University Technical College South Durham’s design will reflect the engineering focus of its curriculum, with a triple-height specialist engineering housing with state-of-the-art kit and able to house large scale work or machinery.

Building work on the new £10m University Technical College South Durham is expected to begin in summer 2015 at Long Tens Way, on the Aycliffe Business Park, close to Hitachi Rail Europe’s new plant. It’s on track to open in September 2016.

David Land is a Trustee for UTC South Durham, working in conjunction with the University of Sunderland, he commented: My role is to manage the build and business engagement for the project. We’re pleased with the work to date and feel we’re on the right track to meet the requirements of the manufacturing sector not only on the Aycliffe Business Park but in the surrounding South Durham area. The UTC offers a transitional facility that will allow students to experience work based problem solving while completing their core subjects.

“The partners have worked with Ryder Architecture on the design, contractor Willmott Dixon has been appointed and is due to start on site this summer, funding is in place, we’ve consulted locally on the proposed college and this week are announcing the appointed Principal Designate.

“The next challenge will be to involve more businesses in the project and then recruit students to start when the doors open in September 2016.”

Plans for UTC South Durham were recently submitted to Durham County Council, with granting of planning approval anticipated for July 2015. The year-long build is expected to begin in August 2015.

The college will consist of a three-storey engineering block, kitted out with general and specialist engineering equipment such as computer-aided design, science laboratories,  workshops and a teaching block for studying GSCE and A’ level subjects.

Access to the college will be off Newton Aycliffe’s Long Tens Way, there will be 43 bicycle racks and 57 car parking spaces with provision for another 20. Public transport options will include the Darlington to Bishop Auckland railway line and local bus transport.

Ryder Architecture, based on Westgate Road, Newcastle, is the appointed architecture firm. Project Architect Mal Lorimer commented: “At Ryder we have extensive experience of designing buildings for education. In their brief to us the sponsors set out their desire to create a building that did not look and feel like a standard high-school, but instead create something more suited to the college’s engineering focus, that would feel different and exciting.

“Industrial workspace was the inspiration for our design. The main entrance will connect directly to the dramatic, triple-height ‘engineering hall’. As well as giving students and visitors an awe-inspiring welcome as they enter it will also be a practical and versatile space, able to house massive equipment or work.

“The chosen palette is of simple industrial materials and the energy efficiency of the building will exceed the target set out by building regulations.”

The contractor that will build UTC South Durham is Willmott Dixon, appointed under the Scape framework – which uses a controlled tender process which complies with the requirements of OJEU and Public Contract regulation requirements to select the best single supplier in a two-stage selection process.