A leading North East college is using businesses based in the local area to work on its ambitious investment programme, which will support employment within the region and growth in the local economy.

After a suspension to non-essential construction work, Northumberland College is set to resume its development project using 9 local construction and building trade companies. These companies were awarded contracts as part of a multi-million-pound investment at its Ashington and Kirkley Hall campuses.

Nigel Harrett, Principal of Northumberland College, said:

“We are delighted to be working with local contractors on our ambitious investment project at Northumberland College. As a leading college in the North East, we value the opportunity to contribute to local economic growth and prosperity of the region. Awarding contracts to local employers is also a reflection of the expertise and talent that we have within the region’s construction industry.

“Building work was suspended for a period of time, however, we are pleased that government advice now allows the development to continue with appropriate safety measures in place.”

The college’s Ashington campus will see the construction of an industry-standard health ward and a dynamic student hub, in addition to extensive refurbishments including brand new windows, a modern heating system, new boundary fencing and refurbished classrooms.

Newcastle-based SV Rutter, a leading property developer in the North East will be working on concrete repairs and windows replacement, roof works and safeguarding external areas. Building and civil engineering contractor, STP Construction, which is based in Rowlands Gill will be refurbishing internal areas along with Gateshead-based family business MJ Phoenix and Son Ltd, a well-known and respected building, civil engineering and maintenance company.

Aptus Shopfitting Ltd, based in Newcastle, will deliver commercial fit-outs and refurbishments to external areas across the college to improve health and safety and safeguarding.

The college’s Kirkley Hall campus in Ponteland, will see the construction of a bespoke equine centre including indoor arena, a specialist animal management centre and modern residential accommodation.

Local contractors include EHL UK Building Maintenance and Facility Services, which operate from a head office in Newton Aycliffe. The commercial and industrial building services company will be working on general maintenance works across the campus and refurbishment of the reception area, the science block and Kirkley Hall Zoo.

Glenfield Energy Solutions Ltd, an independent provider of intelligent building energy management systems, based in Newburn, will be carrying out mechanical and electrical works including upgrading the heating systems. Group Tegula, a specialist roofing contractor that operates from East Boldon will be involved in roof works. In addition, Bedlington-based RBB Group will be involved in demolition and works to bridge, walls and cattle sheds on the 190-acres estate at Kirkley Hall.

Triple Shield Property Maintenance Ltd from Cramlington will be involved in the new animal management centre, which will help position the college as a leading land-based education and training provider. MJ Phoenix, which are also working at the college’s Ashington campus, will be transforming the accommodation block at Kirkley Hall into a modern place of residence for students over the age of 18.

Newcastle-based company, ENGIE, was announced as a contractor in March this year. The energy services and regeneration specialist has already started work on extending the Keilder Building to create outstanding new, highly-specialised and inspiring resources for students with Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND). The company has also started work on a bespoke equine facility, which will be over 1,800 sqaure metres, providing an eventing arena to allow the college to host dressage events.

The companies have been awarded contracts through real estate consultants, Hollis, which is project managing the investment programme at Northumberland College. Paul Wharton, an Associate at Hollis, said:

“We are extremely proud to deliver these facilities with the expertise of local contractors. We are working closely with the college to ensure the buildings will meet their needs and are pleased that work is now continuing to progress on site.”

Northumberland College merged with Sunderland College in March last year to create Education Partnership North East, one of the largest college groups in the UK. The multi-million-pound re-development programme includes student welfare, student experience and skills training as the main focus of the project. The new facilities will transform the college into a modern, careers and skills-focused centre for school leavers and adults in Northumberland.

For more information about Northumberland College and its extensive range of courses, visit www.northumberland.ac.uk