People & Skills Projects. Place Projects - 07 March 2016

City colleges launch merger consultation today

Consultation on the proposed merger of two Nottingham colleges formally opens today (Monday March 7).

New College Nottingham and Central College Nottingham are proposing to merge into one organisation, effective from August 1 this year (2016). The proposed name of the new college is ‘Nottingham College’.

The new college would cater to more than 40,000 full and part-time students, and enjoy new facilities. Among these is proposed a £60million Skills Hub, to be located off Canal Street, in the city-centre.The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership would look to cover up to half the costs of the Skills Hub, subject to business plan.

The public consultation process will run from today until Friday April 15 (2016). The opinions of the learning and skills sector, teaching unions, local and regional government, colleges’ staff and students, parents, employers and the public will be gathered. Once completed, a summary of the results of the public consultation will be published and a copy made available to any person who requests it.

Information from the consultation will shape the colleges’ final proposal to the national Skills Funding Agency for consideration.

The colleges’ Boards believe a single college will generate a first-class learning environment, built on the strengths of the two existing Colleges. Both colleges were graded as ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors earlier this year.

The merger would also give the green light for the colleges to officially submit plans to develop the £60m Skills Hub facility, which the merged college would look to start delivering courses from in September 2018.

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, has welcomed the merger plans.

He said: “The starting point for this merger is two good colleges. The challenge is to develop them from good to great.

“The merger provides the opportunity to take forward our ambition of a step change in skills, led by employer needs, to develop Nottingham as a 21st Century economy. The D2N2 LEP is actively engaged in supporting the colleges through this transition and in developing a new Skills Hub in the heart of the city, as a focal point for skills and training.”

Central College Principal Malcolm Cowgill, said: “The consultation is the start of sharing our vision of a merged college with the people of Nottingham. It will be a college that has the education and achievement of its learners at the heart of everything it does. We have always said that by combining our resources we can provide a better learning environment and facilities for the people of Nottingham.”

Dawn Whitemore, New College Nottingham Principal, (pictured above, left, with student) added: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to shape the future of further education in Nottingham and this consultation is an invitation to our learners, staff, stakeholders and the wider public to join us on this journey. Delivering a proposition which is right for the learner, right for employers and right for the city is absolutely crucial to the success of this merger, and we warmly welcome ideas and feedback from our community.”

To read a copy of the full consultation document on the merger and to register your opinion online go to either Central College Nottingham’s website HERE or New College Nottingham’s link HERE.

For more on D2N2’s work on skills and training – to help promote economic growth in its area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – go to web link www.d2n2lep.org/skills

Media wanting further information on the work of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership can contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org

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