EASTLEIGH College is celebrating the completion of a £500,000 facility that enables it to provide a raft of support services in one central location.

The college at Chestnut Avenue, Eastleigh, has opened its new Learner Hub, which offers students a range of formal and informal learning and private study areas.

The eagerly anticipated facility was built by Bluewood Interiors and funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Eastleigh MP Paul Holmes unveiled a glass plaque to mark the completion of the project, described by the college's principal and chief executive, Paul Cox, as an "impressive development".

"It complements all forms of study with IT support and a full range of dedicated non-academic support services developed over many years," said Mr Cox.

"We hope this is the first of a sequence of projects that will ultimately enable us to locate all of our employer services at the heart of our college.”

The Learner Hub, accessed directly from the college's refectory, was created by transforming an existing space.

Kevin Jones, vice principal for finance, funding and management information, said: "As well as fixing the leaking roof, the stand out features are the new skylights, improved lighting, improved wheelchair access with electrically-operated, height-adjustable desks, and low-level library bookshelves.

"We have also designed an integral folding wall so we can quickly create a large teaching space or a function room for meetings and events.

"WiFi capacity has been significantly enhanced and I am confident the Hub will quickly become a go-to space on the college campus”.

Tracey McAdam, head of learner support and designated safeguarding lead, said the new facility and created a college-wide integrated support service for all learners.

"It offers a range of services designed to support and build resilience, which is one of our four college values along with professional, respect and ambition," she said.

"Staff are available to advise and guide learners, signposting them to services - both internal and external - when they need additional support."