College history

New College Durham was formed in 1977 from the merger of Neville’s Cross College, which specialised in teacher education; and Durham Technical College, which had its origins as a college of mining.

Neville’s Cross College was opened in 1921 by Durham County Council and provided teacher education for women only until 1963, when the first male students were admitted.  The College offered a range of courses in education up to degree level. Throughout this early part of its history, Neville’s Cross College maintained close links with the University of Durham.

Durham Technical College opened in 1957.  The College was intended to provide education and training to support the mining industry, initially with other courses in engineering and construction.  A wider range of courses soon followed, responding to the needs of business and the wider community.

Following changes to the funding and provision of teacher education, the two Colleges were merged in September 1977 to form New College Durham.  The Neville’s Cross site became the base for a wide range of vocational higher education courses, retaining an involvement in teacher education and training for the post-16 sector.  The Technical College site at Framwellgate Moor continued to develop as a further education centre, offering vocational and academic courses to students from the age of 16 and over.

The College increased in size to become the largest of further education in County Durham and one of the larger colleges in the North East.  It became apparent that the buildings and facilities available on both sites were in need of significant refurbishment and repair.  After a rigorous review of the options available, the College Board of Governors decided to develop a single campus on the Framwellgate Moor site.  Work began in January 2003 and the whole project was completed in September 2005, locating the College on a single campus for the first time in its history.  Students and staff at the College now enjoy one of the most modern (and most admired) college locations in the country.