A celebration event was held last week in Banbridge to celebrate the successes of the Southern Regional College ahead of the opening of a new campus next year.
More than 100 staff, students, associates and members of the public packed the college’s Banbridge campus to celebrate its past; its major local and regional impact; its standout successes and many notable achievements.
A key educational, social and community pillar for the area since 1902, the event included a special address by Southern Regional College Chief Executive Brian Doran, an exhibition of photographs and other memorabilia from times gone by and several nostalgic tours of the 57-year-old current building and its well-worn corridors and classrooms.
The Looking Back, Looking Forward event also provided everyone with a unique opportunity to learn more about the college’s plans to create a brand new state-of-the-art £15 million campus on the same site which is on track to open next year.
Southern Regional College Chief Executive, Brian Doran, said: “As time runs out for the old campus building, for many, this wonderful event marked the end of an era and we were delighted to be joined by so many people who were as keen as we were to celebrate the outstanding contribution which those involved with the Banbridge campus have made not only in the area but also much further afield.
“For staff, students, families and businesses, the Castlewellan Road campus has and continues to play a pivotal role in their development while the enormous impact which it has made on the local economy continues to be seen today.”
Jason Diamond, Tourist Information Officer at the FE McWilliam Gallery and Studio in Banbridge shared a fascinating history of the college.
Also speaking at the event was Wilbert McKee, a former Deputy Director at the College, who shared his memories and experiences whilst working at the Upper Bann Institute as the college was then known.
Aaron Shannon, Project Architect at Knox & Clayton Architects, revealed the design plans for the new campus and outlined in detail the exciting new facilities which form part of the new campus.
Meanwhile, work on the new campus is continuing apace, with local contractor, O’Hare & McGovern Limited spearheading full build work on site, creating 150 jobs.