Carlisle College is set to become the fifth FE college to join the NCG Group, one of the largest providers of further education in the country.
Carisle College will merge with NCG in April, and will become the group's seventh member. NCG is currently made up of four colleges and two training providers – Kidderminster College, Newcastle College, Newcastle Sixth-Form College and West Lancashire College, and Intraining and Rathbone Training.
It had been recommended in the Cumbria Area Review that Carlisle College merge with Lakes College in Workington, but NCG was preferred by the members of Carlisle College's board.
Carlisle College chair of governors David Carter said: “The principal and governors see the merger with NCG as the best solution to securing the future success of Carlisle College and we are keen to benefit from the support, expertise, investment and resources of NCG.”
Jamie Martin, chair of governors at NCG, said: “We are delighted that the governors of Carlisle College have taken the decision to join NCG and look forward to welcoming the team at Carlisle in the coming months.”
'This is a hugely exciting time'
Chief executive of NCG Joe Docherty said: “Carlisle is a successful college which serves the needs of its local community. We share their focus on providing what employers and students in Carlisle need to develop skills for their local economy, and we are pleased to be able to back that with the expertise and capacity of a major national group.”
Carlisle College acting principal Steve Salkeld said: “This is a hugely exciting time for the college that will bring new opportunities and the ability to respond to new skills needs in the area.
“We will continue to determine our own curriculum in response to local need, with NCG’s full backing for growth and development. The college will retain its identity and name, and will operate as an NCG college. The group fully shares our commitment to putting learners and the community first, and offers us a very strong and positive future.
“Being part of a larger organisation will help us to secure local provision and bring continued investment to help us meet the needs of learners, employers and the community.”