Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 12:58 UK

Contract signed for 44m campus

BMC campus
The 44m campus is expected to open in August 2011

The contract for Belfast Metropolitan College's new £44m city centre campus in the Titanic Quarter has been signed.

It will open in August 2011 and replace the college's buildings in Brunswick Street and College Square East. A total of 2,500 students will accommodated.

Property development consortium Ivywood Colleges will design, build and run the campus in a 25 year deal.

Employment and Learning Minister Sir Reg Empey said it would "give a "boost to our construction industry".

He added: ""In these difficult times, where training is at an all time premium, this will undoubtedly be a positive step forward in encouraging people to follow the route into lifelong learning."

Dr Raymond Mullan, the college's interim director and chief executive, said: "This is a timely and necessary development which will provide state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities for our students and employers and enable Belfast Metropolitan College to enhance its leading role in the growth of the local skills base and the Northern Ireland economy. "

Both the Brunswick Street and College Square East properties will be sold on the open market when the new campus opens.

In March 2008, planning permission was granted for the College Square East building to be turned into an hotel.

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