A LEADING North-East college has embarked on its major investment programme by appointing a project management company to carry out the work.

Northumberland College is to undergo a multi-million pound investment programme and key to that is the construction of an equine centre, including a 38 x 48 metre square indoor arena with viewing gallery and a new education centre, at its Kirkley Hall campus, near Ponteland.

To start the ball rolling, the college has announced the appointment of real estate consultants Hollis to project manage this first phase of investment.

As part of the work at Kirkley Hall, the education hub will accommodate the delivery of equine management skills such as farriery, dentistry and physiotherapy, plus renovations to existing equine facilities.

The improvements will enable the college to become a centre of excellence for equine education and the facilities will be available for hire to local riding clubs and will support local horse owners in the management of their own animals.

Animal management students will benefit from a renovation project within the on-site zoo at Kirkley Hall to enhance all teaching spaces and animal enclosures.

Two new learning spaces will also be created, the zoo’s collection of animals will be expanded and a state-of-the-art zoo kitchen will be developed.

A range of new specialist resources for students with special educational needs and disabilities at Kirkley Hall will include a modern and innovative space to allow students to develop their independence, raise their aspirations and be fully included within all aspects of college life.

The new facilities will also support students to achieve their potential in a stimulating learning environment, with a curriculum tailored to their individual needs.