Northern Regional College’s new Coleraine campus – which is currently still under construction – has been deemed highly commended at the Martin Barnes NEC Awards in the ‘Contract Innovation of the Year’ category.
The international awards, run by the NEC – a division of the Institution of Civil Engineers – recognise excellence in project delivery and showcase examples of good practice through collaboration from across the world.
The 12,500 sq m building at Union Street is to replace both the College’s former buildings on the site and the campus in Ballymoney.
Other nominees in the category included major infrastructure projects in Hong Kong and South Africa.
Mel Higgins, principal and chief executive of Northern Regional College, said his entire team was “delighted” with the commendation.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Northern Regional College. To be nominated against international projects is a clear sign of the College’s ambition,” he said.
“The Coleraine campus will see the development of a state-of-the-art facility for enhanced teaching and learning environment for Further and Higher Education to meet the needs of the local employers with highly skilled workforce.
“As well as improving the condition and quality of the College’s estate by providing fit for purpose modern and attractive teaching and learning environments through flexible and adaptable accommodation, the high-quality project will deliver significant social gains in the areas of apprenticeships, business engagement and the voluntary sector.”
Fully funded by the Department for the Economy, the new campus will signal a £40 million investment, which is part of a wider £85 capital investment programme to provide new campuses for both Coleraine and Ballymena.
Heron Bros. is the main contractor for both projects, whilst multi-disciplinary consultancy McAdam Design is providing project management and design services.
Mr Higgins continued: “Our aim is to provide facilities that will improve the visibility of Northern Regional College. By providing accommodation to enhance the student and teaching experience and promoting accessibility for all students, staff and members of the wider community, we will develop the reputation of the College at a local, regional and national level.
“Additionally, the completed project will significantly contribute towards the Coleraine Town Centre Plan, acting as a catalyst for the regeneration of the town centre as well as providing maximum physical and social interaction with Anderson Park.”
Whilst construction of the new Coleraine campus is underway, staff and students have relocated temporarily to the former St Joseph’s College premises in Beresford Avenue, until the new development is ready for occupation.