A ROYAL is set to travel to Hartlepool to formally open a college.
Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, has accepted an invitation to open the extended Hartlepool Sixth Form College, off Blakelock Avenue, Hartlepool.
The 47-year-old, who is married to Prince Edward Earl of Wessex, will visit on Tuesday, November 13.
College principal Rick Wells is delighted that she had accepted the invitation and would be extremely proud to welcome her into the college.
He said: “I am delighted that the college is to receive a royal visit and particularly pleased that HRH The Countess of Wessex has accepted our invitation to open the college, which has received the accolade Education Building of Year in 2012.
“Our buildings and facilities are unequalled by any college and are of university standard.
“We are also one of only two colleges in the country to have achieved 100 per cent student satisfaction rating via the national student survey.
“That covers all further education and higher education institutions, which underlines the outstanding teaching and support for students that is provided within the best education new build in 2012.
“The visit is a great honour and our students, staff and governors are looking forward to it with great excitement and anticipation.”
The £24.5m transformation included extensions to the front and back of the existing building.
The work done by the college and Jefferson Sheard Architects earned the prestigious Education Building of 2012 award at the Society of Chief Architects of Local Authorities (SCALA) ceremony.
College bosses say the new build to the front and rear of the existing building provides “modern and flexible” teaching space combined with the retention of the historic Merchant’s House building.
l The Mail apologises after an October 19 picture caption wrongly described Hartlepool Sixth Form College staff Ian McGuckin and Craig Shields as working for another college.