THE Northern Regional College is delighted to announce that following full planning approval for a new college building at the existing Farm Lodge site in Ballymena, the College is now in a position to invite contractors to register interest in tendering for the construction contract to build this exciting new campus.
Bob McCann, the newly appointed Chair of the College governing body, said: “This is a significant milestone in the progress of the project and represents an investment of over £40 million in the Ballymena area by the Department for the Economy.
“The construction of the College will create job opportunities in mid and east Antrim, bringing much needed investment to the area.”
Professor Terri Scott, Chief Executive and Principal of Northern Regional College stated: “The new campus will result in a world class learning environment, enabling the delivery of training, skills and transformational education.
“The College is liaising with the business and industry sectors to determine the skills needs which will drive economic growth and produce new jobs and opportunities for the people of the area.”
Speaking on behalf of the Department for the Economy, Permanent Secretary, Noel Lavery said: “Further and Higher Education is a core part of our economic infrastructure, generating employment, output and earnings and I’m delighted that our investment in Ballymena will make a dynamic contribution to the growth of the area and the region and will be a welcome boost to the construction industry.”
It is anticipated that between 150 and 200 construction jobs will be sustained during the building phase and 1,352 weeks of apprenticeship training will be delivered across the full spectrum of construction and management skills.
The Ballymena campus development forms part of a £84 million capital investment programme, funded by the Department for the Economy, that includes the development of a new campus on the College’s current site in Union Street, Coleraine.
The College is also working along with the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and the Department for Communities in the redevelopment of the former St Patrick’s Barracks site which will share a boundary with the college.
It is proposed that a new road linking the Larne Road Link and the Broughshane Road will run through the St Patrick’s site and alongside the College campus, opening up the area to the rest of the town.