STUDENTS BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO HISTORIC FORMER STABLES
Date: 21st September 2017
Askham Bryan College's new inspirational education centre in Middlesbrough has opened its doors at the start of the academic year offering an extensive range of learning opportunities for young people across the North of England.
Over the last ten months, Central Lodge, which is within the historic Stewart Park, has been transformed into a modern teaching facility and around 250 students are beginning their further education across a range of subjects including courses in animal management and equine. Askham Bryan College specialises in providing courses in land-based subjects across the North of England.
Formerly a Victorian stable block, Central Lodge is a Grade 2 listed building and has been completely renovated. Once home to dozens of horses, carriages and stablemen, it now bustles with 21st century student life in the finest and most modern educational environment. The Park's importance as the birthplace of Captain Cook and rich history is celebrated through incorporating numerous artefacts and features from the original building.
Catherine Dixon, Chief Executive of the Askham Bryan College said: “We are delighted to offer a high quality educational experience in a great setting which will be lots of fun for young people in Teesside and beyond. We are passionate about giving our students the skills and qualifications they need for their future careers. Our Middlesbrough Centre has light and airy lecture rooms, science labs, modern animal handling areas, a learning resource centre and IT centre, recreation areas and offices all of which create a wonderful environment for student learning. In addition, we can also celebrate the building's rich heritage and its importance to the people of Middlesbrough and Teesside.”
Set around three sides of a quadrangle, more than 100 tonnes of steel have been used in the restoration of the two storey brick building. Original tiled panels, several with equine images, have been repaired and feature on the walls, the old coach house doors have been refurbished, the iconic roof spire and slate roofs are now restored, and original brickwork and beams have been exposed. The former dairy has been transformed into an interpretation area which is open to the public; it tells the story of Central Lodge through old photos, videos and documents. A major task was to rebuild and reposition the main staircase which now provides a stunning focal point plus two new staircases and four lifts have been added reflecting modern standards.
The importance of the college's vision has been recognised by the Heritage Lottery Fund which has supported the £3.5m project. Building contractors were Walter Thompson Ltd of Northallerton, North Yorkshire. Ownership of Central Lodge was transferred to Askham Bryan College from Middlesbrough Council in 2015.
Askham Bryan College specialises in providing land-based courses from diplomas through to degree level. Its main campus is at York but it also has centres at Penrith, Cumbria, Wakefield, Scarborough, and Saltaire with around 5,000 students studying a range of courses from engineering to health and social care and from floristry to sport.
Photo 1 shows equine management student Abbie Pearson, and horse "Rockie" in the courtyard of the newly restored and opened Central Lodge.
Photo 2 shows l-r Askham Bryan College students Scott Westwick and Tom Allen, both 18 and from Redcar in the college's new campus at Stewart Park, Middlesbrough. They are studying animal management and this is their first week at the newly opened campus within the former Victorian stable block. They are holding Poppet, a female Giant Lop rabbit.