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College appoints Robertson to £9.5m campus upgrade

College appoints Robertson to £9.5m campus upgrade  
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Northumberland College has appointed the infrastructure, support services and construction group, Robertson as contractor for its £9.5m campus upgrade.

The college announced exciting plans that will see capital injected into the estates at both its 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.

Stuart Cutforth, Principal and Chief Executive at Northumberland College, said: "We have been working closely with consultants and the appointment of Robertson means work on our campus improvements will start soon."

The upgraded facilities at the Ashington campus will create:
• State-of-the-art construction, engineering and motor vehicle workshops
• Refurbished brickwork, plastering, carpentry and painting and decorating workshops
• Refurbishment of the ground floor of the main campus building to create an interactive environment supported by a brand-new hair and beauty salon and restaurant
• Enhancement of the overall site to provide a quality learning environment.

And 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 new facilities will greatly enhance the teaching and learning facilities for students, by providing brand-new facilities and large enhanced workshops that will also enable new courses to be introduced.

Stuart continued: "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."

Northumberland College, which is the largest training provider in the county, offers over 40 Apprenticeship courses and recently received its best ever Ofsted result. The college also works with more than 700 businesses across the region.