Duke of York to open Teesside college

Prince Andrew will be in Billingham today to open a new sixth form college which has had a £12 million refurbishment

Duke of York visits a Stockton college

The Duke of York's been in the region to officially open Bede sixth form college in Stockton which has just been given a £12 million refurbishment. Prince Andrew also visited a new extension to a factory in Newton Aycliffe which makes parts for the car industry.

120 new jobs are being created at Gestamp Tallent Automotive's plant which already has 14 hundred employees. Bosses say the investment and the Duke's visit are a real vote of confidence for the area.

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Duke of York to open £12m Teesside college

Prince Andrew is opening The Bede sixth form at Stockton Riverside College Credit: ITV

The Duke of York is officially opening a Teesside sixth form college which has been given a £12 million refurbishment.

The Bede sixth form at Stockton Riverside College, in Billingham was originally built in 1959 and known as Stephenson Hall. The building had fallen into disrepair, and had a leaking roof and poor heating before it was demolished and rebuilt three years ago.

Former principal of Bede Sixth Form and now Deputy Principal of Stockton Riverside College, Miriam Stanton said: "The sixth form has always been very successful - at one stage it was in the top sixth form colleges in England.

"The problem though, was that the building was old and had become one of the worst in England. Its roof leaked, it was badly designed, the heating was poor in winter and the building was too hot in the summer.

"Pieces occasionally fell off it, the cladding was disintegrating - it wasn't close to being good enough. We had to have something better - somewhere that put the students at the centre of learning and was aspirational."

The new facilities include a geology lab, a TV studio, digital media rooms, and a sound recording studio.

Prince Andrew is opening the college as part of his interest in recognising the work of institutions that help young people improve their future employment prospects.