Dr Neil Hudson MP for Penrith and The Border has said he will not give up in fighting to save Newton Rigg College.
Last week, the Further Education Commissioner (FEC) team, who have been co-ordinating a Newton Rigg Strategic Review stated that no parties had been successful in their bids. It was stated that neither of the bidding parties were able to meet the expectations and criteria set by the Strategic Review in order to secure the long-term success of a potential new college or provider for students in the future. The objectives of the Newton Rigg Strategic Review were to promote the opportunity and test the ability of any interested parties to fund and deliver detailed business plans and proposals for the site.
Neil said “I am deeply saddened that the Strategic Review of Newton Rigg College has not been able to approve any of the bids that came forward. I have already met with the Further Education Minister to discuss the College and also with the Further Education Commissioner’s Office about the Review outcome. We have now been given a short window of opportunity to find an alternative solution to the campus.”
“I have met this week with both bidders, the Hadrian Group and Newton Rigg Ltd. I am strongly supportive of what they are doing to secure a future for the campus and encouraging them to work together for a positive outcome. I will continue to work closely with them on this. I am meeting with and encouraging stakeholders to also join the cause.”
“I will be pushing the Further Education Commissioner’s Office and Askham Bryan to be reasonable in the time scales for this, as well as the financial implications of the site. Askham Bryan as an institution with charitable status have a moral duty to the students and staff and the Cumbrian community, that they agreed to serve educationally in 2011, to facilitate a smooth transition to a new provider. They also need to be reasonable in their financial asks, considering they originally acquired the College for a nominal fee.”
“I will keep making sure that Government hears loud and clear how important Newton Rigg is to our community, the rural economy, and the wider UK.”
“I will not give up. We will not give up. Penrith needs Newton Rigg. Cumbria needs Newton Rigg. The UK needs Newton Rigg.”