The Principals of two East Lancashire Colleges have said they are ‘delighted to announce the vision for a new merged college’.

The public consultation stage of a proposed merger between Accrington and Rossendale College and Nelson and Colne College is now underway – with both colleges citing a growth of provision, greater opportunities for students and employers across the region, and enhanced extracurricular opportunities as reasons to move this proposal forward. Another benefit is long-term financial sustainability and capacity to invest in staff and resources.

The merged college, if it goes ahead, will have the learner and customers at its very heart and will work hard to ensure they have the best possible outcomes. The goals for the merged college include delivering the highest quality provision for all and ensuring outstanding achievements and employment outcomes.

In a joint statement, Principal of Nelson and Colne College Amanda Melton and Interim Principal of Accrington and Rossendale College Lynda Mason said: “We are delighted to announce the vision for a new merged college for Pennine Lancashire, building on the strengths of Accrington and Rossendale College and Nelson and Colne College.

“Both colleges have ambitious plans to support students, staff, employers and other stakeholders and to achieve greater success. By merging, both colleges will be able to direct resources more effectively to serve our customers, benefitting from greater efficiency and securing a stronger financial future, in the context of reduced funding for education.”

If the proposed merger does go through, it is anticipated it will happen in November 2018. The formal consultation period runs from 27 April 2018 to 27 May 2018. All responses and representations must be received by the closing date. There are a number of ways in which to respond or request a copy of the public consultation: