£1.7m refurbishment project to provide ‘Construction Centre of Excellence’ in County Durham

New College Durham’s Promotion House is being transformed into a new learning space by Esh Construction.

Esh Construction has commenced work to transform an existing factory unit into a Construction Centre of Excellence in Langley Moor.

Working in partnership with New College Durham, the £1.7 million project will see a change of use refurbishment delivered to create a specialised teaching facility for trade subjects. The building will be remodelled to create a space that includes teaching rooms, breakout areas, changing facilities and a practice area for teaching.

Grant Watson, Construction Manager for Esh’s commercial build division, said: “We pride ourselves on building strong working relationships with our clients and we are delighted to secure a second project with New College Durham. We look forward to delivering another high-quality teaching facility that will inspire young people up to adult learners to consider a career in the construction industry.”

Based on Littleburn Industrial Estate, a newly engineered joisted floor will create a mezzanine area to house mechanical plant. The existing building fabric will be stripped back to reveal the existing portal frame before being reclad with new Kingspan composite cladding while internally partitions will be created to form classrooms, breakout spaces and a workshop.

The Promotion House scheme follows Esh’s successful completion of New College Durham’s collaborative and integrated learning space, T.H.E Hub (Technical and Higher Education Hub) in September 2023. The £8.9 million state-of-the-art education facility is based at the college’s Framwellgate Moor site and features 23 new teaching spaces, including an immersive suite, early years foundation nursery and multiple sector-specific arenas.

New College Durham envisages the newly refurbished building to function as a Construction Centre of Excellence from September 2024. It will be used initially for the brick curriculum, but will also house building maintenance and painting and decorating lessons at a later date.

Andy Broadbent, Principal and CEO of New College Durham, commented: “We are delighted to be working on this exciting new project with Esh. We’re excited to be able to provide another new fantastic teaching space for our students, which will be available from September. It’s really important to us at NCD that the projects we undertake contribute significant social value, and working with Esh for this new initiative means not only do we provide the best learning environments possible but also provide additional value to the community at the same time”.

Esh’s social value team will support the project by delivering a raft of initiatives, including employability and careers sessions aimed to inspire young people to consider a career in construction, offering apprentice training weeks and creating employment opportunities for local residents.