In Skills

The first major development work at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus since it opened in 1938 is now complete.

The £12.75 million redevelopment received £10m from the North East LEP as part of the North East Growth Deal from Government. The Local Growth Fund is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport across the North East LEP area.

As well as an extensive and challenging refurbishment of the main entrance front building, which was built in 1937/8, the completion of the project saw a number of stunning new facilities open September 2016; including a brand-new small animal care centre, agricultural centre, equine centre, brand new science labs and IT suites, and new enhanced access and parking facilities.

The purpose-built Small Animal Care Centre houses a range of small mammals, birds, reptiles and aquatics – as well as a new commercial dog grooming salon and 22-bay dog kennel unit, complete with dog agility and dog walking areas.

The stunning new Houghall Equine Centre boasts a 28-stable block accommodation, training workshops, tack room, automatic horse-walker and an international-standard 40m x 40m indoor arena to complement an existing 60m x 40m all-weather ménage, cross-country trail, schooling field and 20-acre paddock.

The new Agricultural Centre includes a pig unit and cattle unit with forage store to supplement the existing sheep unit down at the farm site.

Each new and refurbished building also boasts additional classroom/workshop space, staff and student changing facilities and welfare support areas.

Suzanne Duncan, Principal at East Durham College, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time in the history of the Houghall campus.

“Completion of our first major development work on the campus since it opened in 1938 is a huge boost to the facilities we can now offer students. These will significantly improve the learning and teaching facilities at Houghall and provide a learning environment fit for the 21st century and beyond.

“This is a real milestone for land-based education in the north east.”

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