North Shropshire College announces merger
Months after an abandoned merger a Shropshire college has announced it has found a new partner.
North Shropshire College, which has its main campuses in Oswestry and near Baschurch, has agreed to seek a merger with Herefordshire and Ludlow College.
Both colleges said in a statement that the merger would "maximise opportunities of being a major regional educational provider".
The merger comes months after a previous arrangement with Reeseheath College in Nantwich fell through at the 11th hour.
Chair of governors at North Shropshire College, Gillian Richards said management were excited at the latest deal.
She said: "NSC’s governors are unanimous in the decision to join Herefordshire and Ludlow College.
"The merged organisation will offer more for all our students, communities, businesses and other key stakeholders. I look forward to the exciting developments ahead."
The board of governors were left disappointed in August when, following 18 month-long talks, the college failed to secure the funding to allow a merger with Nantwich college to go ahead.
Immediately after the collapse of the merger was announced, college bosses insisted they were exploring new avenues and had received a number of requests from interesting education establishments.
Interim principal Ian Clinton said last month a meeting was taking place before Christmas, to decide if the college would push forward with a new merger.
He did say a merger was not completely essential for the future of the college, however the new partner was announced on Thursday afternoon.
Igor Andronov, Chair of Governors at Herefordshire and Ludlow College added: "This is very good news.
"I am looking forward to working in close partnership with North Shropshire College to secure a bright future for the students, who I believe will stand to benefit from this merger.
"My personal involvement in previous successful mergers with Herefordshire and Ludlow College convinces me that we have much to offer to the future of North Shropshire College."
Both colleges will now work together, with the support of the Government’s Treasury Transaction Unit, towards achieving the merger, which they hope to complete in 2018.