Askham Bryan College’s Newton Rigg Campus in Cumbria is earmarked for closure in July 2021 after an independent review found the site is not financially viable.
The College’s governing body has decided to propose the closure of Newton Rigg after considering the findings of a Further Education Commissioner review of educational provision at the campus and in the wider area.
The closure proposal is subject to the outcome of a 45-day consultation process with 117 staff (79 full time equivalent roles) and the trade unions, which has started today – May 21st 2020.
The College will also be consulting individually with affected staff. Students, parents and carers, applicants, employers, local MPs, civic leaders and community groups are being informed of the proposal, made on May 18th 2020, this week. A final decision on whether or not the campus closes in July 2021 will be made following the completion of the statutory consultation in respect of College staff.
Tim Whitaker, Chief Executive Officer and Principal, Askham Bryan College, said: “We understand the strength of feeling about Newton Rigg and the fact this will be upsetting news to our staff, students and the local community.” He explained: “This has been a very difficult decision. We regret putting staff at risk of redundancy. However, the review has confirmed that the campus is not financially viable from the College’s perspective and would require ongoing investment to keep pace with industry skills.” He added: “Given the current economic climate, and the fact that no capital or revenue funding is available, we have no other option but to propose closing the facility in July 2021. We will do all we can to support our staff and students at this difficult time.”