The first image of what the region’s first University Technical College (UTC), to be built in Newton Aycliffe, has been released.
And the South Durham UTC, an engineering and advanced manufacturing Centre of Excellence, has also revealed the name of its new head teacher.
As revealed on Aycliffe Today two weeks ago, planning for the £10m UTC was expected to be submitted to Durham County Council this month, with building expected to start in August.
A new head teacher had also been appointed, and this week the UTC has revealed his identity.
The UTC will be built on Long Tens Way on Aycliffe Business Park – in between Hitachi’s new site and the Xcel Centre – and is expected to open in September 2016.
The college will consist of a three-storey engineering block, kitted out with general and specialist engineering equipment such as computer-aided design, science laboratories, workshops and a teaching block for studying GSCE and A’ level subjects.
There will also be 43 bicycle racks and 57 car parking spaces with provision for another 20.
Public transport options will include the Darlington to Bishop Auckland railway line and local bus transport.
The building’s design will reflect the engineering focus of its curriculum, with a triple-height specialist engineering housing with state-of-the-art kit and able to house large scale work or machinery.
Tom Dower, a Cambridge University Engineering graduate with over ten years of education leadership experience, has been appointed as Principal Designate of the new UTC South Durham.
He said: “I am delighted to have been appointed Principal Designate of the UTC in South Durham.
“It is very exciting to be working with the University of Sunderland, Hitachi Rail Europe and Gestamp Tallent to provide a fantastic educational route for young people in the North East.“
David Land, Trustee for UTC South Durham working in conjunction with the University of Sunderland, said: “My role is to manage the build and business engagement for the project.
“We’re pleased with the work to date and feel we’re on the right track to meet the requirements of the manufacturing sector not only on the Aycliffe Business Park but in the surrounding South Durham area.
“The UTC offers a transitional facility that will allow students to experience work-based problem solving while completing their core subjects.
“The next challenge will be to involve more businesses in the project and then recruit students to start when the doors open in September 2016.”
Willmott Dixon has been appointed as the main contractor for the UTC.