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Houghall College, Durham

Our education experts transform agricultural Houghall College for 21st century learning

Our education experts upgraded East Durham College’s Houghall Campus to create a first-class learning environment for equine and outdoor pursuits.

The college already trains over 1,000 students a year in courses that include agriculture, animal care, arboriculture and forestry, environmental management, horse management, floristry and horticulture.

Our involvement

It needed new facilities to create a modern environment that gave student access to the best facilities in the world to learn. The college turned to our team to carry out an extensive refurbishment of the main entrance to the building, alongside adding new facilities that include animal care centre, agricultural centre, equine centre, new science laboratories and IT suites, plus enhanced access and parking facilities.

New facilities are world leading

The purpose-built Small Animal Care Centre houses a range of small mammals, birds, reptiles and aquatics - as well as a new commercial dog grooming salon and 22-bay dog kennel unit, complete with dog agility and dog walking areas.

The new Houghall Equine Centre boasts a 28-stable block accommodation, training workshops, tack room, automatic horse-walker and an international-standard 40m x 40m indoor arena to complement an existing 60m x 40m all-weather ménage, cross-country trail, schooling field and 20-acre paddock.

The new Agricultural Centre includes a pig unit and cattle unit with forage store to supplement the existing sheep unit down at the farm site.

Each new and refurbished building also has additional classroom/workshop space, staff and student changing facilities and welfare support areas.

You've seen the pictures, now watch the film!

Houghall College at a glance

  • 476-acre estate with working farm
  • Small animal care centre is home to a snake house, lizard house, tortoise house, aquatics, small mammals and an aviary.
  • New commercial dog grooming studio
  • New 22-bay dog kennel unit with dog agility and walking area
  • New specialist veterinary nursing training facilities
  • New agricultural centre with pig unit and cattle unit with forage store, plus an existing sheep unit
  • Equine centre with 28 stables, training workshops, tack room, an international-standard 40m x 40m indoor arena and a 60m x 40m all-weather ménage
  • Horticulture lab
  • Horticulture & arboriculture workshops
  • Horticultural glasshouses and potting shed
  • Specialist arboretum & pinetum
  • IT suites
  • Football & rugby pitches
  • Multi-gym room

Reasons they chose Willmott Dixon

  • Expertise in education sector
  • Market leader in campus developments
  • Reputation for creating cutting-edge teaching spaces

Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon construction in the North: “We are delighted to have worked on this project, creating new modern learning environments for the students and teachers at Houghall College. We are very proud of our work in the education sector; it is fantastic to know we are playing our part in the future careers of so many.”


  • One of UK's best agriculture and equine facilities
  • Local team built Durham-based facility
  • Utilised our experience of working in live environments
  • Makes region a powerhouse for agricultural learning




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Tel: 0191 482 4824

Fax: 0191 491 0346