East Durham College

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East Durham College
East durham college houghalldrive.jpg
East Durham College Houghall campus
Established 1999
Principal Suzanne Duncan
Location Willerby Grove
County Durham
England England
Coordinates: 54°45′44″N 1°21′00″W / 54.762256°N 1.349999°W / 54.762256; -1.349999
Local authority North East England LSC (but situated in County Durham)
DfE number ???/8008
DfE URN 131859 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Gender Coeducational
Ages 16+
Former names Peterlee Grammar School, East Durham & Houghall Community College
Website East Durham College
An inside view of the East Durham College Peterlee Campus.

East Durham College, formerly known as East Durham & Houghall Community College, is a community college with campuses in Peterlee and Houghall, south-east of Durham.

The College student roll, as at the last Ofsted report, February 2014, was 1579 full-time and 4,154 part-time students.

East Durham College operates across three campuses, as well as providing work force development within individual work places across the region.

The Peterlee campus is situated on Willerby Grove off the B1320 (Burnhope Way) in Peterlee, near the A19. The Houghall campus is situated on the A177 (Stockton Road) to the south-east of Durham, near Shincliffe. The Peterlee campus includes a variety of facilities including the bistro restaurant Scene1, two functional beauty and hair salons, recording studio, IT suites, sports centre and fitness suite, dance studio, theatre and a conference suite.

The 400-acre Houghall Campus includes football and rugby pitches, gardens, woodland, stables, an all-weather equine arena, small-animal care unit and working farm. Houghall now hosts the Durham Flower Festival.

The College's third site is The Technical Academy located on Peterlee's South West Industrial Estate.


Houghall Campus: Agriculture, Animal Care, Arboriculture & Forestry, Environmental Conservation, Equine Studies, Floristry, Horticulture and Land-based Operations (LBO).

Peterlee Campus: Access to Higher Education, Art & Design, Barbering, Beauty Therapy, Brickwork, Business, Carpentry, Catering, Childcare, Computing, Construction, Hairdressing, Health & Social Care, Hospitality, ICT, Media, Music, Outdoor Education, Painting & Decorating, Performing Arts, Plastering, Sport, Teacher Training, Travel & Tourism, Uniformed Public Services, Apollo Studio Academy

The Technical Academy: Engineering, Electrical, Gas, Fitted Interiors (Kitchen & Bathroom Plumbing and Fitting), Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Tiling (Wall and Floor)


The history of Houghall Farm can be traced back through many centuries. In 1260 the manor at Houghall, plus the attached lands were granted to the Priory and Convent of Durham. Although some of the land was leased, most of the area was farmed by the monks themselves. Sheep were a very important part of the farm at this time and also crops, such as oats and barley were grown. The land was very marshy so fish farming took place in the many ponds and the rushes, which grew abundantly, were harvested for use in the Cathedral, Cloisters and Castle.

The Priory let the farm in 1464 to Richard Rackett, and the tenancy remained with the Rackett family until the dissolution of the monasteries. Houghall was then sold to Viscount Lisle, the tenant at that time being Clement Farrowe. The farm was returned to the Church (Dean and Chapter) in 1660.

A survey of the farm was carried out in 1794, and it is interesting to note that many of the fields had the same shape and the same name as they have today. The crops grown at this time were oats, barley, wheat, grass, clover and rape.

In 1836 Houghall and other land in the area was endowed to Durham University. In 1920 Durham County Council then bought the farm to provide the site for an agricultural school and training farm.

The course of the river Wear has changed many times over the centuries, both through natural means and by design. A large area, which is now part of the farm, was once the river bed. The silt deposits left by the river have contributed greatly to the fertility of the farm.

The present college results from the merger in June 1999 of Durham College of Agriculture and Horticulture (also known as Houghall College) and East Durham Community College in Peterlee (formerly known as Peterlee Tertiary College in the 1980s and Peterlee College since 1989). The former campus at the town centre on Burnhope Way (B1320) was originally Easington Technical College and the campus at Howletch was originally Peterlee Grammar School.

In 2006, the college was given planning permission to build a new campus at Peterlee because the buildings at the two campuses there did not meet the requirements for access for disabled people. In September 2008 a brand new £36m college building was opened on the Howletch site; the old college building at Howletch has also been demolished to make way for further college buildings and the old college building at Burnhope Way will be demolished to make way for a Tesco Extra. The college's new 220 seat theatre was named after Berthold Lubetkin.

In September 2013, the college opened Apollo Studio Academy, a new studio school at the Peterlee campus.

Sport Development Centre[edit]

The college also runs a Student Athlete Programme, providing health education to participants. The programme includes boxing, basketball, football and rugby, providing a variety of competitive opportunities (friendly, league, cup fixtures), but the major focus is on individual skill development as opposed to team organisation. The sports hall has 500 seats on the bleachers.


  • Shaun Reay, footballer
  • Steve Howey, footballer – Steve Howey worked at the East Durham College Football Development Centre from 2007 was Acting Head of the Centre until 2011
  • Tony Jeffries, Tony studied Engineering at East Durham College and was part of the boxing development team
  • Dave Wilson, Bath and England Rugby Union Prop
  • Gina McKee, Actress best known for her roles in The Lost Prince and Notting Hill
  • Steve Harper, Steve studied Sport and attended the Football Development Centre at East Durham College and is now a footballer at Hull City FC.

Peterlee Grammar School[edit]

Easington Technical College[edit]


External links[edit]