A COLLEGE could soon benefit from a teacher training hub under new proposals.

Earlier this month, a planning application was lodged with Durham County Council for permission to expand Sedgefield Community College, in Hawthorn Road.

If approved, the new facility would be used for teacher training and visiting university students providing a variety of ‘dynamic, interesting and flexible spaces’.

Plans also include increasing parking spaces on site from 120 to 220.

The development is a joint venture between Sedgefield Community College and the Laidlaw Schools Trust (LLT) to enhance facilities.

The proposed two-storey building will connect into a stand alone annex building which was constructed in 2016.

Durham University would use the space one day a week, with the remaining days left open for the college.

A Design and Access Statement submitted to the council states the hub will offer university students ‘a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in a live school environment’.

It reads: “It is hoped that the result of this experience will encourage the student teachers to apply for full time positions within the LLT following the completion of their studies.”

The report goes on to say: “The building will look to challenge conventional thinking on circulation, breakout and flexible spaces, making the most of the limited space and adding to the unique nature and appeal of the facility.”

Plans for the building include an auditorium, social space, five classrooms across two floors, breakout areas, storage, staff facilities and toilets. Proposed opening hours include 9am to 3.30pm on weekdays.

Durham County Council’s planning authority are expected to rule on the plans by the end of May. Comments can be made in writing to the council before Tuesday, March 10. For details visit the council’s planning portal and search reference DM/20/00398/FPA