New campus plans on course for regional college says Minister

Banbridge Campus Southern Regional College.
Banbridge Campus Southern Regional College.

Plans to build a new campus for the Southern Regional College in Banbridge are still on course, according to the Employment and Learning Minister.

The news has been welcomed by Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson, who twice questioned DEL Minister Stephen Farry for progress updates in the Assembly.

Earlier this month Mrs Dobson asked the Minister for assurance that the SRC’s plans for new campuses in Craigavon and Banbridge were on schedule.

Mr Farry responded by saying, “There already is a campus in Banbridge, and we do not anticipate any change in that regard.”

But in a reply to a written question by Mrs Dobson last week, the Minister confirmed that a business case was to be submitted and that “initial indications are that the business case will identify a preferred option which will propose... a new build on the current site in Banbridge,” with an assurance that “the planned redevelopment of the Banbridge facility has not been dropped.”

Commenting she said: “Mr Farry tells me that the Business Case for new builds in Armagh, Banbridge, and on a single Craigavon site, to replace the Lurgan and Portadown campuses will be completed by the Autumn.

“I have urged the Minister to ensure that funding will be available to enable redevelopment to take place soon afterwards as many had hoped redevelopment would already be underway by this stage.

“This reassurance 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.”