North-east college bosses have announced an £8.2million overhaul of their Fraserburgh campus.
It is hoped the investment will help boost enrolment, allow for new courses and lay to rest any remaining fears that lessons and services would be lost following a controversial merger of Aberdeen and Banff and Buchan colleges last year.
The new-look college space will see science courses offered at the Henderson Road base for the first time.
The investment involves a radical redevelopment of the Broch’s engineering, motor vehicle and construction departments.
Over the next few weeks, the existing mechanical engineering workshops are being expanded and improved. A new workshop area will be fitted with engineering kit, including computers and training stations which were bought with a grant from the Oil and Gas Academy of Scotland.
A revamp of the welding workshops will increase welding bays from 28 to 32 and a dedicated fabrication space will be created to address increased demand for qualifications in this sector.
In the final stages of the two-year project, a new building will be created to provide specialist facilities for construction, electrical installation and science courses.
Banff and Buchan College teamed up with its counterpart in Aberdeen to become North East Scotland College (NesCol) last year.
Students and politicians had raised concerns about the move, claiming it could force people to travel to Aberdeen to attend lectures and lessons.
Bill Rattray, the college’s head of school engineering, science and technology, said last night: “It is important that students across all campuses of the college experience a high quality learning environment.
“New machinery and improved layout in our Fraserburgh campus will enhance the learning experience further and inspire students to success in their courses.”
Phil Wilson, faculty manager for engineering technologies, added: “The extended and enhanced provision afforded by this redevelopment will help to support the growing demand for engineering training in the north-east of Scotland.”
He said there would be no disruption to students in term time as a result of the work.
Earlier this week, a new study revealed that NesCol contributes more than £400million a year to the region’s economy.