Work to begin on multi-million pound new Erne Campus
WORK on a new multi-million pound further education college campus is due to being soon.
The new South West College will be situated on the site of the former Erne hospital in Enniskillen.
It represents an investment of more than £29 million by the Department for the Economy.
Tracey Brothers Ltd has been appointed as the main contractor for the construction and development of the Erne Campus, which has been designed by Hamilton Architects.
The college said it would see the delivery of "the first educational building worldwide to achieve the highest international standard in environmental construction".
Construction of the 8,200 m2 building is scheduled to begin in March 2018 and will provide employment for more than 200 people.
This includes apprenticeship opportunities representing a major economic boost for the south west region.
It is hoped that the building, which is due to be completed in January 2020 will further enhance the college's global reputation in the sustainable construction sector and will be used to attract international companies and students in this field.
Chief executive Michael McAlister said South West College was on the cusp of an exciting new era.
"Students, parents and employers alike will all see huge opportunities emanate from the new development and we look forward to sharing the college's journey into the first PassivHaus Premium development on this scale, with the business and education community in the UK, and our wider, global network of educational partners," he said.
Beverley Harrison, Director of Further Education at the Department for the Economy said the building project was significant.
"This new campus demonstrates the department's continuing commitment to further education and to delivering the skills needed to grow the local economy," she said.
"As well as the immediate boost to the local construction sector, the new building will showcase the potential role which further education can play in supporting and developing the local economy and marketing Northern Ireland on a world stage."
The project will provide a significant number of job opportunities in the Enniskillen area.
John Tracey, Director Tracey Brothers Ltd, said he was looking forward to working closely with the college on the landmark education development.
"It is all the more pleasing that the development will see life brought back to this strategically important site within Enniskillen and at the same time provide much needed stimulus to the local construction industry and wider economy," he said.