College centre gets on the ball to attract students

Northumberland College's Berwick The Graduate hair salon on Marygate.
Northumberland College's Berwick The Graduate hair salon on Marygate.

The increased number of courses available at Northumberland College’s Berwick centre is attracting more young people from the Borders to enrol there, say its bosses.

Berwick centre manager Tracy Girdwood said: “We have students from Berwick, Eyemouth, Chirnside and Duns.

“It’s easier for young people from the Borders to come to Northumberland, and they are still entitled to study for free and travel for free if they are aged between 16 and 18.”

The introduction of new courses, including partnerships with Berwick’s the Maltings Arts Centre and Berwick Rangers Football Club, have proved to be a big attraction for new students.

They include diplomas in performing arts and music production, media, make-up and art design and new arts courses, based at the Maltings.

Tracy said: “As part of the courses, students have the opportunity of work experience within the box office and helping backstage.

“There is nothing else in the area like this at all.”

The arts courses are full-time, and once they are established, the college will look at offering additional courses

A link-up with the football club gives young ambitious footballers aged 16 to 18 the opportunity to gain qualifications as well as develop their practical football skills.

Berwick is also one of the Northumberland College campuses taking part in the new concept of leisure learning, providing community-based courses for people seeking to expand their knowledge without working towards a qualification.

Tracy said: “Leisure learning is about things like sewing, photography, craft baking, and more.

“It’s a whole new area of learning, and courses will be run within the community so they are easily accessible.”

To enrol at the Berwick centre for the current academic year, call 01289 302446 or email