UUP Assembly candidate Jo-Anne Dobson and Cllr Glenn Barr have welcomed the approval of planning permission for a new state-of-the-art college campus in Banbridge.
The new £10million Southern Regional College (SRC) campus is to be built on the existing college site at Castlewellan Road.
Plans passed by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council pave the way for a new campus building, extensive landscaping and car and cycle parking on the site.
“This new development will cement the future of further education in Banbridge and the approval of planning permission is another important milestone in delivering new, modern college facilities for the town,” Mrs Dobson said.
“Historically our local area has not received the level of capital investment in our college facilities which has been made available in other regions and any developments in this area are to be warmly welcomed.”
She continued: “This is good news for Banbridge and those who use the campus for either full-time or part-time courses. New and modern facilities for the college will enhance their provision to be able to meet the demands of future students, provide better conditions for pupils and staff and cement the future of further education in Banbridge.
“I will continue to challenge Ministers on the maintenance of staffing levels and seek assurances that with new facilities comes new opportunities to learn for local people.”
Councillor Barr added: “This is great news for the town. I welcome the confirmation from SRC that their new campus will provide improved classroom sizes, greater accessibility and a more comfortable learning environment.
“New facilities will provide much greater opportunities for the college to enhance and increase their course offering to fit the needs of the local economy and employers. I commend SRC for their proud legacy of providing skills and training to local people.”