A FIRST step has been taken to the construction of a multi-million pound learning facility in Dumfries.
Councillors joined representatives of GRAHAM Construction and project management firm Hub South West Scotland to cut the first sod at the King George V site for The Bridge – which will combine a school, theatre, cinema, dance studio, lecture and study space, model restaurant, and craft centre.
With the project representing a £10.5 million investment by the council and coming as part of the £71 million phase one section of Dumfries Learning Town, Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson said: “The start of work on The Bridge is the final piece in phase one of the transformation of education in Dumfries.
“Not only does this development bring together academic and vocational opportunities in Dumfries under one roof it, The Bridge is being developed right in the heart of North West Dumfries, showing the ambition the council has to support that community and the whole of our town.”
Planning approval for The Bridge was granted in March, enabling the project to progress on the disused former bowling green at the King George V site.
An innovative community facility, it will deliver lifelong learning needs in Dumfries for learners across the region.
It will be a unique facility, providing learning opportunities beyond those found in traditional education settings such as schools, colleges and universities.
And it will offer learners of all abilities and aspirations opportunities to pursue career pathways both curricular and personal interests which are extra-curricular.
It will be available to individuals and groups that wish to develop new skills, take forward initiatives and enterprises, meet as special interest groups, stage performances, or hold private functions.
Chairman of the council’s children, young people and lifelong learning committee Councillor Jeff Leaver said: “We’re making excellent progress on all our projects, but The Bridge is a key component of the Dumfries Learning Town development.
“This ground breaking ceremony marks the start of something truly special. “
He added: “The young people of tomorrow will benefit from this fabulous project.”