College to move ahead with ‘new build’plans

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Plans for a ‘new build’ of the Northern Regional College campus in Ballymena have taken a giant step forward, it has been revealed.

A procurement process has begun to appoint a design team for the project, which is being funded by the Department for the Economy.

The aim is to provide new buildings at the Farm Lodge Campus in Ballymena for the 2021/22 academic year.

Once the design team is appointed, the scheme will be advanced with the development of proposals, working to industry guidelines to ensure the design in Ballymena fits with its setting. There will then follow a comprehensive pre-planning community consultation in Spring 2018.

A spokesperson for the college said: “Our plans are for a consolidated campus for Ballymena focused on a new build on the existing Farm Lodge site, adjacent to the St Patrick’s Barracks site.

“The Farm Lodge campus has close links to the town centre and offers significant potential for redevelopment and synergies with the plans for St Patrick’s Barracks.”

MLA Paul Frew said: “These are exciting plans for the future. The Northern Regional College is very important to Ballymena and the plan for a new build on the existing Farm Lodge site, adjacent to St Patrick Barracks site will add to the potential of both.”