NRC New Build Project

Ballymena Chamber congratulates Northern Regional College on reaching Major milestone with new build project.

The announcement that the design contract for the new £84 million capital investment programme at Northern Regional College has been awarded marks a major milestone for the College’s new build project.

This significant investment by the Department for the Economy will mean new campuses on the current sites in Coleraine and at Farm Lodge in Ballymena.

The plans are for a consolidated campus for Ballymena focused on a new build on the existing Farm Lodge site, adjacent to the St Patrick’s Barracks site. The Farm Lodge campus has close links to the town centre and offers significant potential for redevelopment and synergies with the plans for St Patrick’s Barracks.

Commenting on the announcement Chamber President Ronan McCann said:

“This will be a real boost to the local economy and as a business organisation we look forward to the opportunities this will present for our members and also for young people seeking apprenticeships and work experience. I would like to congratulate the College and its leadership in progressing this long awaited investment”.

The projects which are scheduled to be completed by summer 2022 will now be taken forward by McAdam Design, a leading Northern Ireland based architectural and civil engineering design consultancy after it won the contract  following a public sector tendering process managed by the Department of Finance’s Central Procurement Directorate.

The College issued a statement saying 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.’’

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Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 4 Wellington Court, Ballymena, BT43 6EQ

Email: office@ballymenachamber.co.uk

Tel: 07801 738 359

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