Page last updated at 09:43 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 10:43 UK

Roundhouse doors open to students

Derby Roundhouse
The site has been transformed from a former steam engine workshop

A £48m project to convert a former steam engine workshop into a college campus has come to fruition in Derby with the doors opening to students.

The historic Roundhouse project saw the grade II and grade II* listed buildings on the Pride Park site refurbished to form the new campus hub.

The Roundhouse is the world's oldest steam engine workshop, but it had remained unused for many years.

From September, 2,500 students will take vocational courses at the site.

On Wednesday, students who are to complete their second year on a wide range of vocational programmes were invited to see the new facilities for the first time. An open day for new college applicants was planned for Friday.

Inspired art

Students were offered a tour of the campus where their courses will be based, including engineering, business, plumbing, art and design and catering and hospitality.

College spokeswoman Sarah Jenkin-Jones said the building's history had inspired a piece of artwork at the site.

She said: "Visitors will also see for the first time the magnificent interpretation artwork which brings to life the history of the building and the 19th Century industrial era and which will add to the visitor experience for the general public when parts of the site open this October as a heritage centre."

Built in 1839, the Roundhouse could accommodate up to 32 engines. A central turntable was used to move them around.

Previous schemes have been proposed, including one by record producer Pete Waterman who wanted to store his collection of locomotives there.


The original building dates back to the 19th Century

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