The green light has been given for plans to build a state-of-the-art educational facility in Banbridge.
The new Southern Regional College (SRC) campus has been granted full planning permission, paving the way for construction to begin at the existing Castlewellan Road site.
The college will continue to operate as normal as the new building will be located elsewhere on the site.
The proposals are part of a £95 million joint investment by SRC and the Department of the Economy aimed at dramatically improving local educational learning provision and facilities across the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon areas.
The college is due to open by 2020 and will feature around 4,500 square metres of specialist accommodation, which is also set to become a specialist centre for digital media and design.
In addition, the new build will feature a ‘design centre’ where students can experience a real working environment, taking on industrial design briefs and projects which reflect modern and best practice.
SRC Chief Executive Brian Doran said: “Our promise is to invest £95 million across the entire area to deliver educational facilities and provision which befits the needs and expectations of a new generation of young people, their parents and the wider community and to meet a critical requirement to support local business and industry within the wider economy.
“I’m delighted that Banbridge will benefit from this commitment. Now we can look forward to beginning the construction process that will open the door to a fantastic building with state-of-the-art facilities that will give our young people the best possible learning environment.
“This is a key milestone for our estates project and a really positive statement of our intent to build a legacy for future generations of students with the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon areas.
“The new college development presents a truly transformational opportunity for the area and will enable us to further build on our strong presence in, and contribution to, the area and the region at large.”
A spokesman for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said: “The decision supports the council’s robust yet flexible planning framework which supports economic growth and meets the needs of local people and business.”