Construction of Sunderland College’s new £29million campus has been completed on time, on budget and ahead of the new academic year.
The keys for City Campus, the college’s brand new facility in the heart of Sunderland city centre, have been handed after more than 400,000 hours of work, since it commenced in December 2014.
The new campus, which will open its doors to more than 2,000 students in the coming weeks, has been completed by contractor BAM, and the finishing touches are being made for the start of classes on Monday, September 12.
The new 141,712 square foot building will provide education in construction, advanced manufacturing, engineering, automotive trades, travel and tourism, hair and beauty, and catering and hospitality courses, and includes state-of-the-art facilities that are attracting students from right across the North East.
Principal and chief executive Ellen Thinnesen said the college is delighted to take control of the building, which she describes as a flagship base for technical and professional education and training.
She said: “Whilst Sunderland College already makes a £444.5m yearly economic contribution to the North East business community, City Campus is a hugely significant to the ongoing development of the organisation, the city and wider area. The campus is equipped with state of the art facilities, each floor and area focussed on the world of work and key North East industry sectors. I have worked in several colleges across the country and City Campus tops them all.”
“We could not be happier with the campus. It’s a visible statement of intent – a symbol of the ambition we have as a college and a reflection of the positivity felt across the city. This is a facility that will transform the way we, in partnership with employers, deliver education, training and skills to the most important people, our students.”
The construction was completed with no recorded accidents. It has delivered a significant economic boost to the area, with BAM sourcing 80 per cent of contracts for the scheme from firms in the North East.
Millions of pounds of orders were placed with firms in Sunderland, Prudhoe, Gateshead, Newcastle, Blyth, Cramlington, Hebburn, Boldon, Durham and other areas. Sunderland firms involved with the build included Simon West Interior Furniture, Harry Marsh (Engineers) Ltd, who supplied structural steelwork, and Glasshus Limited who provided curtain walling and external glazed doors.
Jason Kelly, project manager from BAM, said: “We’re as good as the people we employ, so we know that our relationships with our supply chain are very important not only to achieve quality for our clients but also to help them stay safe on site and for them to want to work with us in the future.
“Together we’ve delivered a superb new campus which is going to be a fantastic home for students in Sunderland. We’ve had a great relationship with our client and I’m delighted to hand them their keys.”
BAM also delivered the College’s Bede campus which opened in 2014. Its track record also includes Sunderland Software Centre, and the leisure complex in Boldon.