A military training facility has moved from County Durham to Colburn.
The Military Preparation College at Bishop Auckland has relocated to Colburn Business Park.
The college currently has 21 learners and bosses say they are preparing for more to enrol at the facility which has a capacity of 75.
Military Preparation Colleges are run by Government-funded training provider MPCT and offer free courses to help 16 to 19 year olds, of all abilities and from all backgrounds, into a wide range of careers, both within the military and in civilian life.
These include academic, functional and health and fitness courses along with training in physical fitness, public speaking and communication.
With no set term times, young people can enrol when they like and leave when they are prepared for whatever career they have chosen.
They are unique in that all their instructors are ex-British Armed Forces personnel, who use their military backgrounds to help learners set and reach the targets that will progress them to their chosen careers.
North East area manager and former Sandhurst instructor, Lawrence Corbett, said the move was great news for the area.
“We have established strong links with ITC Catterick and as such they have been supporting our learners with virtual engagement live sessions since mid-June.
“In addition, the Scots Guards are providing Military Skills support every Wednesday, so our students really are learning the ropes from the very best in the British Army.”
Since their launch in 1999, the 35 Military Preparation Colleges across England and Wales have prepared more than 4000 young people for a military career and helped at least a further 12,000 into other areas of employment and training.
To find out more, prospective learners and parents and guardians can visit www.mpct.co.uk
Text MPCT to 88008 or call 0330 111 3939.