College to team up with new partner

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NORTHUMBERLAND College is looking to the future after announcing plans for a new partnership.

Governors have chosen Newcastle College Group (NCG) as their ‘preferred merger partner’ due to its proven track record of successful mergers and acquisitions, financial strength and outstanding leadership and management.

This follows a period of flux at the college in which principal and chief executive Rachel Ellis-Jones stepped down in September and multi-million pound modernisation plans were shelved.

Linda Ions, chairman of the board of governors at Northumberland College, said: “We are committed to a full examination of how this proposal will improve the success and experience of students and employers in Northumberland. NCG is widely recognised as the best in the FE sector and we are very excited at the prospect of gaining access to their outstanding support and expertise.

“The board of governors is convinced that this opportunity is in the best interests of all of our stakeholders and represents a tremendous opportunity for our students and staff.”

The college began a search for a merger partner to continue to provide services durng a tough time economically.

Interim Principal David Cheetham said: “We share a common vision for the future of further education and for delivering the highest level of service to our students, our staff and for the communities we serve.

“By being part of NCG and working closely together we will take positive steps that benefit the learners and employers of Northumberland. Together, we have the capacity to invest in world-class facilities and provide a more responsive service.”

Jackie Fisher, Chief Executive of NCG, said: “We welcome the decision of the Northumberland College governing body to develop a much closer relationship with Newcastle College and NCG.

“We are very keen to develop an effective working relationship with the county council and local businesses and to contribute wherever and however we can to the ongoing development of Northumberland.”