FOUR firms have made it onto the register for a £35 million college scheme in County Durham.
Balfour Beatty, Shepherd, Gleeson and Alfred McAlpine are all bidding for the new Darlington College of Technology.
The facility will be situated on Haughton Road near the town centre and is part of the 30 ha Tees Valley regeneration.
The campus will be a radical departure from the traditional classroom system comprising a host of learning complexes run in partnership with local organisations and businesses.
It will include a young people's centre for 14 to 19-year-olds, a university centre delivering higher education courses in partnership with Teesside University and the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College.
The plans also include a technology centre for engineering, construction and computing, a hi-tech media centre, sports and leisure complex, food court and restaurant, hair and beauty salons and health and childcare centre.
Project partners involved are development firm One NorthEast, English Partnerships and Darlington Borough Council.
Tenders will be returned on July 23 with a decision expected shortly after.Work will start later this summer.
Across the Pennines, Gleeson has splashed down with a £15 million deal to build a swimming pool complex in Liverpool.
The team has taken gold on the Olympic-sized development ahead of Willmott Dixon. It will construct a 50 m long, eight-lane pool with a moveable floor, a second 20 m pool and a 400- seater viewing area in Wavertree.
Liverpool City Council has financed the deal with the help of a £4 million grant from Sport England.The remaining £8 million must be found from local resources.
A report on the project will go to the council's executive board tomorrow (Friday).
The pool will take 18 months to build and is due for completion in early 2006.