The design contract for the new £84 million capital investment programme at Northern Regional College has been awarded to McAdam Design. This significant investment will deliver new state of the art campuses on the current sites in Coleraine and at Farm Lodge in Ballymena. The projects are scheduled to be completed by summer 2022 and are funded by the Department for the Economy.
McAdam Design, a leading Northern Ireland based architectural and civil engineering design consultancy, was appointed to take forward the project following a public sector tendering process managed by the Department of Finance’s Central Procurement Directorate.
The design team will begin work immediately to advance the scheme with the development of proposals for both sites, working to industry guidelines to ensure the design in Ballymena fits with its setting and likewise in Coleraine, where the new campus will integrate on an expanded site within the town centre. A comprehensive pre-planning community consultation will be taken forward in the coming months.
Commenting on the appointment, Chairman of Northern Regional College, Hugh Crossey said:
“I am delighted to see the College reach this significant milestone on a trajectory to move from six to four campuses which will in turn deliver greater efficiencies and improved student experience. There is a great sense of momentum behind the new build projects, building confidence with our staff and students. We look forward to engaging with key stakeholders as part of the process to optimise the investment for the wider community. This exciting investment has been made possible by the support and financial commitment from the Department for the Economy.
The appointment of the design team follows months of preparation. Extensive work has also taken place on preparing the campuses with the successful conclusion of efforts to secure adjacent lands at the Coleraine campus through the purchase of St Patrick’s parish centre to provide an expanded footprint.
On the Farm Lodge Campus in Ballymena there has been close cooperation with the St. Patrick’s Barracks project team where a strong working relationship has developed aimed at maximising the potential for the collocated projects.”
Beverley Harrison Director of Further Education at the Department for the Economy said:
‘’This is a significant step in the development of the new campuses and demonstrates the Department’s commitment to the delivery of first class education and skills across Northern Ireland.
The announcement today is good news for the local economy and will benefit employment locally by providing cutting-edge facilities which will increase the skills base locally and attract investment and learners to the area.
Northern Regional College is to be congratulated on the hard work which has brought the projects to this point and the Department will continue to support the College as we move forward with this vital investment.’’
Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has welcomed the awarding of the design contract for the Northern Regional College capital investment project at the Ballymena and Coleraine campuses.
The Party’s Further and Higher Education Spokesperson said:
“The awarding of the design contract for the Northern Regional College capital investment project is very welcome news.
“The new builds for both the Coleraine and Ballymena campuses are much needed, so it is good to see this being progressed, after hard work by the college to get the project to this stage.
“The £84 million investment by the Department of the Economy to develop the Northern Regional College is an important commitment in terms of developing the skills offering and providing opportunities to learners, to bring further investment into the local economy.