New and returning students to Harrogate College were busy enjoying the benefits of the new facilities when the college opened the doors to its £6m campus redevelopment today (October 7).
The sizeable investment has seen brand new industry standard facilities open for the start of the 2016/17 academic year.
The redevelopment has seen every student's dream come true, from the modern Bistro on the Park training restaurant to the stylish Image Academy hair and beauty salons, which are now both open to the public.
The build of the Technology Centre has provided a home for the motor vehicle, electrical, welding and joinery workshops, allowing students access to top of the range equipment sponsored by Dunnington Electricals and Howdens Joinery.
The front of the main building has been transformed into a ‘high street’ where the training bistro, hair salon and HG2 Café are open to the public giving students 'real life' customers to serve and gain work experience.
The redevelopment also includes two state-of-the-art science laboratories and a two floor art and design department, with photography studios, dark rooms, as well as fashion, art and recording studios.
Harrogate College Prinicipal, Debra Forsythe-Conroy, said: “It’s an extremely exciting time for Harrogate College and our students as this redevelopment represents the dawn of an era that aspires to match the stature and reputation for quality in the town of Harrogate.
"The investment supports our commitment to securing increased employment opportunities in the area and enhancing our ability to develop career packages which include a curriculum which meets local priorities, supports the visitor economy, business and finance, health and social care and cultural and business economies.”
The re-development was part funded by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, as part of its role to grow the economy by providing a skilled workforce.
Chairman of the Enterprise Partnership, Barry Dodd, CBE, officially opened the new facilities at the grand launch.
He said: “We are delighted to see the completion of the first project in our Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Capital Programme. A growing economy needs businesses that can recruit people with high quality skills and having colleges that are fit for purpose is crucial to this."
The next phase of the Harrogate College investment programme will see a multi-use 3G pitch for student and community use, an expanded curriculum and new IT infrastructure.