A Strategic Review of Newton Rigg College is to be carried out from July 2020 by the Further Education Commissioner as a direct result of the Save Newton Rigg campaign led by Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border.
Newton Rigg College, which has over 1000 learners and 130 staff was earmarked for possible closure in July 2021 by its present owner, Askham Bryan College based in York following a Local Provision Needs Analysis carried out by the Further Education Commissioner in February 2020. Since that point Dr Hudson MP has campaigned vigorously for the survival of the campus and to secure a viable future.
The Strategic Review will evaluate in detail the bids from interested parties that have come forward with proposals for the future of the College. It will also give consideration to how the area’s educational needs will be met moving forward and will engage closely with interested parties and relevant stakeholders.
Neil stated “I am thrilled that as a result of my meetings with them that the Further Education Minister and Further Education Commissioner have decided to undertake this Strategic Review of the College. Colleges such as Newton Rigg are not only integral to their local and regional communities but in this case, it is vital for the national economy. I am glad that Askham Bryan have agreed to this process which will allow the Further Education Commissioner to fully evaluate the exciting proposals for Newton Rigg and I truly believe it will help in securing a viable and sustainable future for the campus. I have raised Newton Rigg on a number of occasions in the House of Commons and really feel we are now gathering momentum for a positive outcome.”
In a statement Askam Bryan College said: “Since Askham Bryan College took the difficult decision in principle to stop delivering education and training from its campus at Newton Rigg from July 2021, several interested parties have approached the college with proposals for the future use of the site as a going concern.
As a result, the college governors have agreed that the Further Education Commissioner will conduct a strategic review on their behalf in order that the merits of each proposal can be fully explored.
It is expected that the outcome of this strategic review will be presented to the college corporation in early December 2020, so that any transfer of ownership can take place in time for the beginning of the 2021/22 academic year.”