Berwick campus is ultimate ambition for college chiefs

Northumberland College has outlined ambitious hopes for the future of its further education offer in Berwick.

Thursday, 21st July 2016, 09:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 13:12 pm
Jennie Beaumont

Vice-principal Jennie Beaumont, speaking at Berwick Town Council, admitted the ultimate goal was a new campus with a bigger and more varied offer than at present.

The college currently offers 60 full-time courses from its main centre next to Berwick Academy.

However, its location within school grounds and the safeguarding issues that throws up mean it is far from ideal.

“The site at the high school has its challenges,” admitted Mrs Beaumont. “Ideally, we need a site where constant access is available.”

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Councillors suggested sites such as Jus-Rol, Spittal Point and Shielfield Park would be suitable sites.

Mrs Beaumont said the college would welcome further input to help it deliver its ambitions for the town.

She revealed the college has been looking for alternative sites for its construction training centre, currently on the Ramparts Business Park.

“We haven’t been able to secure it yet so over the summer we’re refurbishing the existing site to make it better for people coming to do construction, plastering or joinery.”

Its hair salon training centre on Marygate is thriving.

“We have four or five of these across the county and the Berwick one is used the most substantially,” she said.

Its new link-up with The Maltings to extend arts provision was an exciting development and she hoped garage premises could be found to offer mechanic training.

Cllr Eric Goodyer said: “It’s a real shame that the opportunity to develop the Walkergate site for further education was lost but I am delighted to hear that Northumberland College is committed to developing services in this town.”