Sunderland College is set to transform the city centre after funding for a new £29m flagship campus was confirmed.
The state of the art 11,500 square metre campus will be built on the land opposite Park Lane bus station* and will accommodate up to 2,000 students and over 120 staff whose spending power will assist in the regeneration of the city centre.
Funding for the high tech campus will come from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), Sunderland City Council and College reserves.
The announcement follows significant investment in the College’s Bede Campus, with work due to be completed on a Sports Academy and Visual and Performing Arts Academy in the summer. Work on the new City Centre campus is scheduled to begin this autumn.
The well-equipped new building will house vocational courses transferred from its Hylton Campus. These courses will include advanced engineering, manufacturing, construction trades, automotive trades, travel and tourism, catering and hospitality. The building will also incorporate hair, beauty and barbering facilities, a spa, a bakery and a restaurant all of which will be accessible to the public.
Anne Isherwood, principal at Sunderland College said: “This investment is a huge boost for Sunderland and especially the city centre. The campus will provide high class facilities for vocational learners across the region and will give us a flagship site that will strengthen our offer to students and make us more aligned to the needs of local businesses.
“As well as providing a major boost for the College it is fantastic to be playing a role in the regeneration of the city centre. There is a huge amount of work going on to improve the city centre and having a campus right at the heart of Sunderland will help to really invigorate the area, as well as giving Sunderland College a more compelling offer. I believe we will be able to attract more students from outside the city as well as those from Sunderland.
“It’s an exciting time for Sunderland College as well as education provision in the city.”
Cllr Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council said: “The continued development of the city centre is absolutely crucial to the future of Sunderland.
“So we’re delighted to see the Skills Funding Agency and Sunderland College investing in this key regeneration site and it’s a development we’re very happy to support.
“To have a flagship campus on this site will be a major boost for the city centre and its economy. It’s also ideal for the staff and students who will be based there with its excellent transport links and city centre location.”
Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID said: “It is tremendous to hear that Sunderland College is now able to move into purpose built premises in the city centre. This will give a much needed boost to city centre businesses and traders and help build the buzz and vibrancy needed to help the city achieve its potential.
A public consultation event on the new development will be held on the 2nd April (2pm – 7pm) at the Civic Centre, Burdon Road to invite all stakeholders to comment, find out more and put their views forward.
*Negotiations are continuing with the HCA, the site owners who are working with all the partners to ensure the best outcome for the City
For more information on Sunderland College, visit www.sunderlandcollege.ac.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0191 511 6000.