Northumberland College has acquired a large plot of land in central Ashington to relocate its award-winning provision.

The college has purchased the land on Wansbeck Business Park from Advance Northumberland, the economic regeneration company.

A new campus, developed by the Department of Education (DfE) on behalf of the college, will be built on the 5.7 acre site.

The DfE has already appointed architectural practice Race Cottam to design the new campus, and engaged global engineering, management and development consultants Mott Macdonald to work through a detailed feasibility study.

Ellen Thinnesen, Chief Executive of Education Partnership North East, which incorporates Northumberland College, Sunderland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form, said: ““Our new Ashington Campus will transform our provision and create a fresh, modern and innovative environment for our students. The new campus will also provide a stimulus for central Ashington and a big boost for local retailers.

“We’re delighted to be working with DfE, Advance Northumberland, Ashington Town Board and other partners on our plan to relocate our provision to a central site where we can create an inspiring learning focused environment for our students, staff, employers and the wider community.

“In particular, I’d like to thank Michael Black, Director of Economic Growth and Investments at Advance Northumberland who has been fundamental to the success of the project so far.”

Coun Jeff Watson, Chair of Advance Northumberland, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to support Northumberland College in this project.

“Ultimately there’s going to be a state-of-the-art campus in the centre of Ashington which I’m sure will be a real boost not just for Northumberland College but the whole of the town and the wider area. The ambitions of Northumberland College mirror the ambitions of Advance Northumberland and we’re looking forward to helping them as this scheme moves forward.”

John Johnston, Chair of the Ashington Town Board, added: “The college’s purchase of the land for the new campus is fantastic news. Under the new leadership team and board of Northumberland College phenomenal progress has been made in recent years.

“The new campus in the town centre will provide state-of-the art facilities for students to match the excellent standard of teaching and support the college now provides. This is an anchor project in wider plans that are being developed for Ashington that will deliver significant positive change for the town centre.

“A big well done and thank you to the team at Education Partnership North East and Northumberland College who have made this possible.”

The purchased land is an hour-glass shape and the college’s plans for the site include three buildings housing classrooms, technical industry workshops, specialist facilities, immersion and simulated learning environments and offices; a car park and sports facilities incorporating a football pitch and a multi-use games area.

A planning application for the new campus will be submitted to Northumberland County Council over the coming months.

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19