Dodds: further education delivers significant benefits to learners, businesses and wider society

Date published: 17 January 2020

Further education colleges deliver significant benefits to learners, businesses and wider society, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said today.

L-R Brian Doran (Chief Executive, Southern Regional College), Minister Diane Dodds (Department for the Economy), Martin Lennon (Managing Director, O'Hare & McGovern)
L-R Brian Doran (Chief Executive, Southern Regional College), Minister Diane Dodds (Department for the Economy), Martin Lennon (Managing Director, O'Hare & McGovern)

The Minister was speaking as she attended the topping out ceremony for Southern Regional College’s new £15million campus in Banbridge, which is being funded by her Department.

Minister Diane DoddsMinister Dodds said:

“I very much welcome the opportunity to view the excellent progress that is being made in the construction of Southern Regional College’s new Banbridge campus.

“The new facilities will deliver industry-leading education and training, including an innovation hub space to support entrepreneurial and business enterprise, and digital media facilities. I commend everyone involved in bringing the project to fruition and look forward to seeing this fantastic new campus open to students in September.”

The Minister continued:

“The six local further education colleges are helping people right across Northern Ireland gain the skills and knowledge they need to compete for jobs and pursue fulfilling career paths. In turn, businesses have access to the skilled people that enable them to succeed and grow – helping boost the economy for everyone’s benefit.”

The Minister received a tour of the new 4,500 square-metre campus for Southern Regional College in Banbridge, which will house specialist accommodation designed to facilitate world class professional and technical education and training.

Mrs Dodds added:

“This investment in SRC Banbridge is part of a wider funding package of £220million that will deliver a total of seven major capital projects right across the FE sector in Northern Ireland, helping ensure the colleges are equipped to continue delivering for learners, business and wider society, well into the future.”

Brian Doran, Chief Executive of Southern Regional College, said:

“I am delighted to witness the significant progress that has been made on the Banbridge campus project since the commencement of the construction work this time last year. I pay tribute to the work of the contractor and our wider estates team for getting us to this point and for the continued support of the Department.

“SRC has more than 31,000 annual enrolments and this new campus, coupled with ongoing capital work in Armagh and planned work in Craigavon, will enable us to further improve the standard of education provision and deliver to our learners.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption: L-R Brian Doran (Chief Executive, Southern Regional College), Minister Diane Dodds (Department for the Economy), Martin Lennon (Managing Director, O'Hare & McGovern)
  2. The contractor for Southern Regional College’s new Banbridge campus is OHMG.
  3. More information on Southern Regional college is available on the College website.
  4. The Department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the Department’s internal records management system. The Department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The Department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.
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  6. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office on 028 9052 9604 or email pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk . Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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