5th Dec, 2016

Evesham campus is in safe hands college bosses say, as merger plans announced

Evesham Editorial 7th Apr, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

BOSSES at South Worcestershire College have insisted the future of its Evesham campus is in safe hands after the college announced plans to formally merge with Warwickshire College Group.

A public consultation has opened on the plans which have been put together in a bid to achieve ‘financial and operational sustainability’ for all of the college’s locations.

South Worcestershire College (SWC) has campuses in Evesham and Malvern, while Warwickshire College Group incorporates Pershore College and five further sites in Warwickshire

According to the college, the only significant change from the merger would be the changing of the name ‘South Worcestershire College’ to Warwickshire College Group.

Should all plans be given the green light, the merger will come into effect from August.

A document detailing the plans titled ‘Stronger Together’ reads: “The proposed merger comes at a time when the FE sector is facing increasing pressures related to changes in Government funding mechanisms.

“We are also very aware of the ongoing Area Review process which is driving closer inspection of productivity and overall financial sustainability of FE colleges.”

Additionaly it also states: “It is the intention that ‘business as usual’ continues for SWC with both campuses (Evesham and Malvern) and course provision remaining in place for enrolled students.

“No students will be disadvantaged and all will be able to complete any courses still in progress at the effective date of the merger. The name of the organisation will be the only significant change in the immediate term.”

The college added the merger could increase its annual savings to more than one million pounds.

Vale residents can have their say on the plans during a consultation event at the Evesham campus of South Worcestershire College on Tuesday, April 19 from 6pm to 8pm.

Another event will be held at Pershore College on Wednesday, April 20, again from 6pm to 8pm.

The deadline for consultation responses is midday on Friday, April 22.

Following the deadline, consultation responses will be analysed and the findings report published with the governing bodies taking a final decision on merger in June.

Visit www.warwickshire.ac.uk/mergerconsultation for more information on how to get involved.