More than 200 students have completed courses in the first academic year of a new state-of-the-art college campus launched in Northumberland.
Northumberland College opened its outreach learning centre in Hexham last September to give young people in the Tyne Valley improved access to further education and skills training.
Based in a three-storey building in St Mary’s Wynd – which was previously used as an outreach facility by Newcastle College – the centre offers a range of vocational courses and works with local employers to develop apprentice training.
It was opened in response to demand in west Northumberland, as the college already delivered courses across the county from Berwick in the north to Ashington in the south east.
Now students and staff have marked the first year of the Hexham facility, which has enabled more than 200 students aged 16 to 18 to complete full and part-time courses.
It was opened by Hexham MP Guy Opperman, and the special event celebrated its first anniversary and also the success of its initial cohort of students.
College Principal Stuart Cutforth gave a short presentation on the success of the centre, and presented students with awards, before curriculum director Nigel Lister cut a birthday cake to mark the occasion.
The centre includes The Graduate hair and beauty training salon, IT suites, a business administration practice office, teaching and learning spaces and breakout areas for students. Courses include travel and tourism, beauty therapy, business administration, counselling skills and early years.
It also acts as a hub for local businesses to identify their skills needs, and offers more than 40 apprenticeship subjects including hairdressing, health and social care, IT and early years.
Nick Bartlett, 18, from Allendale, was the first student to enrol at the centre. He said: “I’ve really enjoyed studying travel and tourism. We have learned loads about the industry and it’s great that the centre is local.”