THE transformation of a Victorian stable block into an educational centre is on track.

Askham Bryan College was awarded £3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to redevelop the building in Middlesbrough's Stewart Park into an agricultural and horticultural education facility.

The college has run courses out of the Central Lodge for several years but Middlesbrough Council handed over control of the building in 2015 to restore it to its former glory.

Repairs to the Grade II listed building will include extensive work to the roof, the creation of lecture rooms, a science laboratory, a learning resource centre, animal handling areas and a reception area.

Nick Barnes, the college's interim director of regional centres, said: “It's great to see the work underway, and as each day goes by we're getting closer to seeing it restored to its former glory.

"It's particularly significant for the local community too. We've worked closely with the Friends of Stewart Park who have been very supportive and we're on target to begin running courses from Central Lodge in September.”

Northallerton-based construction company Walter Thompson is carrying out the work to transform the buildings.

Site Manager Mike Hamm said: “There is so much history here and we know we have a responsibility to handle the transformation sensitively.

"At the moment we’re in the process of carefully stripping back to what was originally built and we’re uncovering some beautiful tile work – and some graffiti that goes back generations.

“It’s restoration and renovation, but we’re working on a wonderful set of buildings. It’s a challenge, but really interesting work.”