An exciting development which will provide a further boost to the economy as it emerges from lockdown was officially unveiled at Derwentside College in Consett today with the opening of the College’s extended Construction Facility.

The new centre, which will bring significantly more opportunities to the learners and employers of North West Durham, was officially opened by Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham; and has been supported by Government capital funding aimed at upgrading the FE Estate as well as an investment from the College’s own reserves.

Welcoming Richard Holden to officially open the development, Tony Edwards, the College’s Chair of the Board, said: “This College has an outstanding reputation for the delivery of quality Apprenticeships and this was an opportunity to build on that standing and satisfy a demand for a range of construction opportunities for both learners and employers.  It also enables us to build on the extensive demand we have for classroom provision in this area.”

The College’s Principal and Chief Executive, Chris Todd added: “I’m incredibly proud to see this facility open today.  We’ve worked hard to grow our construction provision over the last few years and I’m looking forward to seeing our learners make use of this extended facility.”

As one of only a very few projects in the region to have completed this development in the required timescales, the College has doubled the capacity of its Construction Centre with an additional 300 metre squared of usable space and an additional 9 multi-purpose bays.  The new space on the top floor of the development will be utilised for carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painting and decorating and multi-craft delivery, whilst the additional space downstairs will be used for wet trades, including brickwork, and plastering, as well as a purpose-built floor laying training area.