Thousands of students and staff have returned to Southern Regional College as part of a safe, phased return for the new academic year.
All six campuses were temporarily closed in March in line with public health guidance with most students completing courses remotely as careful preparations got under way across the Southern Regional College network for a safe restart in September.
The new academic year also marks a new first for many students and staff as brand new campuses in Armagh and Banbridge unlock the doors to a multi-million-pound investment in new, modern and spacious facilities and enhanced learning opportunities.
Other colleges including Kilkeel, Lurgan, Newry and Portadown have also started to reopen, offering first class further and higher education options in a safe learning environment.
Chief Executive, Southern Regional College, Brian Doran said: “I’m delighted to report that the preparations, plans and protocols we have worked hard to introduce to ensure that the safe return of students and staff are working extremely well and that our September restart is now well under way on a safe, controlled, phased basis.
“I’m also particularly thrilled that many students and staff will see and experience our new world class facilities in Armagh and Banbridge for the first time which form part of our significant £100 million investment plans across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon area.”
Work was recently completed on the College’s new £35 million award-winning 14,000 square-metre landmark campus in Armagh and on its new 4,500 square-metre £15 million campus in Banbridge in readiness for students and staff to return. Both are designed to facilitate world class professional and technical education and training to support local and regional economic growth.
All colleges will operate two-metre social distancing where possible, with other Covid-19 risk mitigation measures in place including Perspex screens, face coverings and additional PPE.
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