LATEST - Steps being taken to retain education provision at Malvern College - The Malvern Observer

LATEST - Steps being taken to retain education provision at Malvern College

Malvern Editorial 17th Feb, 2021   0

STEPS are being taken to ensure the Malvern Hills College site continues to be used in the future for education.

Warwickshire College Group (WCG) announced in November it would cease operations at the Albert Road North site this summer.

A task force including district councillors Beverley Neilson and Tom Wells continues to work with WCG to try and persuade them to reverse their decision, as well as look at alternative providers.

A letter has been sent from the council to the Education and Skills Funding Agency, asking for further education and skills training on the site to be supported.

The council points out the town is set to see significant growth in the population of over 16s during the next decade while further education provision has been reduced.

The current narrow further education offering in the town and the Government’s own plans for upskilling the nation as part of a post-pandemic recovery are also given as reasons for retaining the college, along with the difficulty students face getting to alternative sites outside of the town.

A covenant also exists on the land preventing it from being sold for alternatives to education and training and the council has made it clear it intends to use this to support its case.

An application from Malvern Town Council has also been accepted to designate the college as an Asset of Community Value – meaning if an attempt is made to sell it, the community will have six months to make an offer for it first.

Coun Sarah Rouse, Malvern Hills District Council leader, said: “We understand the pressure WCG is under as a result of the impact of the pandemic and we want to continue to work with them constructively, as well as talk to other partners, to try and find a solution.

“But, we are not prepared to accept there is no longer a functional need for a college in Malvern.

“With growing demand in the near future, the current offering needs to be significantly improved.

“Allowing Malvern Hills College to be sold for alternative uses would be a missed opportunity and potentially very damaging to our residents, the future of our young people and our local economy.”

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