A MULTI-million pound revamp of a historic stable block has seen it recreated as a specialist education centre.

Askham Bryan College, with the support of a £3.5m Heritage Lottery Fund grant, has transformed the Grade II listed Central Lodge into a modern teaching facility for a range of subjects in animal management.

The Victorian stable block, once home to dozens of horses, carriages and stablemen, will now be the base for 250 students beginning a new career in Stewart Park, Middlesbrough.

The Park’s importance as the birthplace of Captain Cook and rich history is celebrated through incorporating numerous artefacts and features from the original building.

Catherine Dixon, chief executive of the Askham Bryan College said: “We are delighted to offer a high quality educational experience in a great setting which will be lots of fun for young people in Teesside and beyond. We are passionate about giving our students the skills and qualifications they need for their future careers.

“Our Middlesbrough Centre has light and airy lecture rooms, science labs, modern animal handling areas, a learning resource centre and IT centre, recreation areas and offices all of which create a wonderful environment for student learning. In addition, we can also celebrate the building’s rich heritage and its importance to the people of Middlesbrough and Teesside.”

Set around three sides of a quadrangle, more than 100 tonnes of steel have been used in the restoration of the two storey brick building.

Original tiled panels, several with equine images, have been repaired and feature on the walls, the old coach house doors have been refurbished, the iconic roof spire and slate roofs are now restored, and original brickwork and beams have been exposed.

The former dairy has been transformed into an interpretation area which is open to the public – it tells the story of Central Lodge through old photos, videos and documents.

A major task was to rebuild and reposition the main staircase which now provides a stunning focal point plus two new staircases and four lifts have been added reflecting modern standards.

The College specialises in providing land-based courses from diplomas through to degree level.

Its main campus is at York but it also has centres at Penrith, Cumbria, Wakefield, Scarborough, and Saltaire, near Bradford, with around 5,000 students on its books.