ENGIE confirmed as contractor for new SEND centre at Northumberland College

A Newcastle-based company has been confirmed as the contractor for Northumberland College’s new centre for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Leading energy services and regeneration specialist, ENGIE, will now start construction work at the college’s Kirkley Hall campus, as part of a multi-million-pound investment plan, which will bring significant benefits to the region.

ENGIE will be extending the Keilder Building to create outstanding new, highly-specialised and inspiring resources. The new extension, which will boast an 800 metre square space over two floors at the heart of the Kirkley Hall campus, will be home to a sensory room, a modern and innovative life skills zone to allow students to develop their independence and an employability hub to support their progression.

Lee Francis, Area Director at ENGIE, said: “We’re delighted to bring our construction expertise to this project and help provide some outstanding new facilities for Northumberland College students to learn and thrive in.

“The work we are doing signifies an exciting future for the College, with the development providing a state-of-the-art learning environment for students who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

“As a business, we also want to impact and support the communities we work in and the people we work with, so we’ll be engaging with the local community throughout the duration of this project, to ensure we leave a lasting legacy across the campus and the local area."

Northumberland College merged with Sunderland College in March 2019 to create Education Partnership North East, one of the largest college groups in the UK. The multi-million-pound investment programme at Northumberland College is part of the group’s bold new strategic plan and will ensure that Northumberland College is one the region’s leading education and training providers.

Vikkie Morton, Vice Principal for Students Services and Registry for Education Partnership North East, said: “We are delighted that a local contractor will be supporting us to realise our exciting new vision for specialist state-of-the-art facilities that will further support our students with special educational needs and disabilities at Northumberland College.

“The new facilities will enable them to achieve their potential in a stimulating learning environment, with a reshaped and innovative curriculum that is personalised to their individual needs.”

ENGIE was appointed by consultants Hollis that are project managing the first phase of the college’s investment programme.

Paul Wharton, an Associate at Hollis, said: “We are extremely proud to help deliver these facilities to improve the Kirkley Hall campus. We have worked closely with Education Partnership North East over the last year to ensure the buildings will meet their needs and look forward to progressing on site.”

The investment is part of a multi-million-pound redevelopment programme that was announced last year. The first phase of the redevelopment programme is already underway and the new facilities are transforming the college into a modern, careers and skills-focused centre for school leavers and adults in Northumberland.

Councillor Wayne Daley is Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for Children's Services and Education and Skills at Northumberland County Council.

He said: "We are very pleased to see this project progressing at Northumberland College. It will provide great new learning opportunities in Northumberland for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. It is good to see that the college has an ambitious strategy for investment, and to see this getting underway."