RENOVATION works at a one-time all-girl university college were officially unveiled today (Wednesday, January 9).

An area in front of the Fergusson building at Durham University’s St Mary’s College which had become used as a car park has been restored to its original purpose: a recreation area, for student and non-student activities.

The work was commissioned to mark 60 years since the late Queen Mother opened the Fergusson building, off South Road, Durham, in 1962.

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The Queen, then still Princess Elizabeth, had laid the foundation site in 1947.

Professor Chris Higgins, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, performed the official unveiling.

Durham University chancellor and opera singer Sir Thomas Allen was unable to attend the ceremony due to ill health.

College alumni attended a reception afterwards.

The project is part of a wider refurbishment of St Mary’s College to improve its student accommodation for the 21st century.

The Fergusson building is named after a former college principal, Margaret Fergusson.