Merger of two major colleges in East Lancashire announced

Students and staff from the two colleges
Students and staff from the two colleges
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Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College have merged to create a single college that they claim will offer the ‘highest quality education for all’.

The idea of the proposed merger was taken to public consultation earlier this year, with the overwhelming majority of responses being in favour of the united organisation.

Current and prospective students will see no impact on their study or existing application as a result of the merger. It is not known at this stage how many, if any, job losses will be created by the merger.

Principal of Nelson and Colne College Amanda Melton said: “This is a hugely exciting time for all involved, and we would like to thank all our staff, students and stakeholders for their support throughout a successful public consultation process.

“We are now looking forward to building on the strengths of both Colleges to ensure the highest quality education and technical skills for all, as well as outstanding achievements and employment outcomes for students. By merging, NCC and A and RC will be able to deliver a growth of provision, a stronger financial future, and a highly skilled future workforce for the region.”

The colleges state that the following benefits will come from the merger:

• Combining complementary strengths to increase the range of high quality education and training oppportunities and progression routes for learners and employers

• Providing a single point of contact for employers, across a wider geographical footprint

• Delivering a joint curriculum offer, which builds on the established specialisms of both colleges and avoids unnecessary duplication of investment

• Greater capacity to develop provision to meet national and local skills priorities for growing Apprenticeships and higher level professional and technical education. This will support economic growth and prosperity in Pennine Lancashire

• Better capacity to engage nationally and regionally with partners and stakeholders, in order to bring greater and continued benefits to the local communities

• Combining the talent pool of staff and the excellent facilities and resources, to widen opportunities for learners and to ensure ongoing efficiency, value for money and financial stability

• Increased investment in the latest learner resources and facilities – enhancing and ensuring the continuity of local provision.

In 2016, Nelson and Colne College took over responsibility for running Lancashire Adult Learning, the country’s second largest Adult Community Learning Provider that delivers over 2,000 courses to more than 300 venues across Lancashire.

LAL has since gone from strength to strength, this year winning the coveted title of TES FE Adult and Community Learning Provider of the Year.