College merger wins go-ahead

The merger of two East Riding colleges has been given ministerial approval and the new institution has officially come into being.

The East Riding College represents the union of Beverley College and East Yorkshire College. The combined 10,000 students will stay largely on the old two sites.

Robert Smith, the chairman of the Learning and Skills Council, broke the news to delighted staff after receiving official approval from Margaret Hodge, Minister of State for Lifelong Learning.

Mr Smith said: “On behalf of the Learning and Skills Council I would like to congratulate the college on their successful merger and wish them every success in taking the college forward.

“The college can now formally start to implement the improvements in learning provision and quality, which were priorities in the plan to merge the colleges.

"I would like to thank the governing bodies and staff from both colleges who have put so much effort into ensuring East Riding College could be up and running at the earliest opportunity. I know that learners throughout the region and the Bridlington community in particular, will benefit from this change.”

Mike Jutsum, principal at East Riding College, said: “We are building a college which will meet the needs of local people and businesses. Our current and potential learners are at the heart of this merger and our improvement plans. We have received much support from local residents and our college partners throughout this process, for which we are very grateful.”

The new college intends to be “at the heart of the community” through its main sites in Beverley and Bridlington, but also through its local sites at Carnaby, Driffield, Hornsea, Full Sutton and Wakefield.