New college opens its doors

The relaxed settings in the entrance of the new Hartlepool College of Further Education.
The relaxed settings in the entrance of the new Hartlepool College of Further Education.

THE new multi-million pound Hartlepool College of Further Education will open its doors to the public on Monday.

The £53m building has been in the planning stages for more than six years, but is now an iconic and pivotal part of the community.

Hartlepool College of Further Education has long been the training provider of choice for businesses in the North-East and beyond.

With the largest apprenticeship provision in the area, a proud record of employer engagement and membership of four National Skills Academies, the College has built its success on work with employers and businesses.

The new Learning Core is a space to study between lessons, at a student’s own pace and with all the resources students are likely to need.

It is much bigger than the Learner Resource Centre housed in the old college, extending up through the three floors at the rear of the building.

Each floor has a suite of dedicated PCs, 115 in total, and free wi-fi access allows students to use their own laptops, smartphones and tablets.

As well as the educational and academic provision, Hartlepool College of Further Education has developed its social spaces and facilities.

Visitors and students can dine at the Flagship Restaurant, Food Court and two cafes and take a stroll into The Luminary, a suite of related facilities dedicated to wellbeing and style.

College bosses say it is a lifestyle centre where people always feel welcome with a personal training gym for all ages and abilities.

There is also a spa and beauty salon featuring advanced beauty treatments.

College principal and chief executive Michael Bretherick, said: “The new Hartlepool College stands on the site of our traditional campus on Stockton Street in the heart of the town centre.

“The building is more spacious, brighter, greener, and more advanced than our previous building.

“The new college has been designed with a huge amount of input from students, industry and business partners to provide the very best resources for education, training, business and lifestyle.”

In an era of climate change, effective use of energy in homes and businesses is more important than ever before and the eco-friendly measures were designed into the college from the outset.

The Mail recently gave readers an exclusive look behind the scenes but from Monday people can visit the town centre building themselves and see what it has to offer.

For more information about the opening times during September, call in to the college, contact Customer Services on (01429) 295111 or visit www.hartlepoolfe.ac.uk