Work has started on a £37m "super campus" development in Dumfries.
Work has started on the Dumfries and Galloway College site
The first sod has been cut on the site of the new Dumfries and Galloway College at the Crichton campus.
When completed in autumn 2008, the site will replace the existing college at Heathhall and will cater for some 6,000 students.
Scottish Funding Council chairman John McClelland said it would strengthen the "vital role" of the Crichton in Dumfries and Galloway's economy.
The groundbreaking ceremony marked the first step towards the further and higher education facility.
The college will work closely with the other educational bodies already on site.
College principal Tony Jakimciw said it would offer new opportunities.
"The collaboration of further and higher education partners at the Crichton will allow students to experience the very best in education while living locally," he said.
"By sharing resources, facilities and knowledge, the institutions at the Crichton will provide an educational offering that equips students for success in our modern and fast changing world."
Part of the funding for the new college comes in the way of a £21.7m grant from the SFC.
Chairman John McClelland said it was "good news" for south west Scotland.
He said it would "sustain and grow" the region's economy.
Paisley University Principal Prof Seamus McDaid and Bell College Principal Prof Alex MacLennan issued a joint statement on the project.
"We take great pleasure in the achievement of Dumfries and Galloway College in having reached this key milestone," it said.
"Their goal of procuring a new and purpose-built building in which to deliver its mission for the benefit of the populace of Dumfries and Galloway and beyond has come to fruition."