A MERGER between two of the region’s biggest colleges has collapsed just weeks before it was due to go ahead.
The plans to merge Northumberland College with NCG, the parent company of Newcastle College, collapsed after governors at Northumberland decided to pull out of the deal.
The announcement came just days after Newcastle College said would spend £25m on facilities in Northumberland, including a new vocational campus to be built in Cramlington and improvements to the college’s Ashington headquarters.
Yesterday a statement from Northumberland College said that the board had pulled out because it felt the merger proposal agreed in July had “materially changed” and “no longer represented the best solution for students, staff, stakeholders and the local community”.
The board will now consider other options to secure the future of Northumberland College, although no details of these options have yet been revealed.
Chris Todd, acting principal at Northumberland College, said: “Students, staff and stakeholders did not want this merger to happen. The corporation have listened to these concerns and have made the right choice in the interests of Northumberland.
“Northumberland College has a strong business plan going forward and we have demonstrated substantial improvement over the last 12 months.
“The college is no longer in a desperate situation. The college is stronger than ever, both financially, but also in terms of the quality of its provision.”