College merger could happen by May next year

Burnley College which is set to merge with Accrington and Rossendale College.

Burnley College which is set to merge with Accrington and Rossendale College.

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Proposals have been announced for the merger of Burnley College with Accrington and Rossendale College, which could happen as soon as May next year.

The two main campuses will remain as they are and will keep their names and identities and the governing bodies from both colleges have described the move as as a "positive strategy to deliver a strengthened local skills offer in a climate when the stability of individual colleges may be challenged in the future."

It is not yet clear how the merger will affect jobs and teaching and lecturing posts but in a document outlining the proposal one of the benefits is listed as "combining the talent pool of staff, facilities and resources to widen opportunities for learners and to ensure efficiency and value for money."

In a joint statement, David Meakin who is chairman of Burnley College and Brian Stephenson, who is chairman of Accrington and Rossendale College said: "By merging we will be better placed to engage with employers and ensure that students are ready for the job opportunities of the future.

"Our proposed new college will also combine the best of each college's heritage in supporting skills of our communities.

"For better or worse, much has changed in the way in which learners have been funded in recent years and continued change is to be expected.

"As a larger, more robust organisation, we will have greater ability to support our learners through this process and ensure they are not marginalised as a result."

A consultation on the proposal has already begun and will run until Thursday, January 12th.

Views expressed will be considered by the governing bodies of both colleges at meetings in January and the outcome of the consultation will be published in February.

Anyone who would like to express their views can download the consultation document www.burnley.ac.uk/consultation or write to Jane Spurgin ar AoC Create Consultant, Burnley College, Princess Way, Burnley, Lancs BB12 OAN.