A college whose financial difficulties prompted a report by the FE commissioner has said it will close one of its campuses, blaming a drop in college funding for the move.
Cornwall College plans to close its Saltash campus in July after 35 years in operation. Students will be able to complete this year of education (2019-20) as planned and will be offered progression opportunities at either Cornwall College St Austell or Duchy College Stoke Climsland.
In May 2019, a report from the FE commissioner said Cornwall’s two standalone FE colleges should work closer together with an eye on merging.
The report followed financial difficulties at Cornwall College, acknowledging that the institution "started to experience severe financial problems" in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years.
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Cornwall College: 'Uncertain financial climate'
According to the report, a fall in student numbers had affected the college's financial health.
In October, Steve Double, Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay, said in the House of Commons that the opening of Callywith College, run by an academy trust set up by Truro and Penwith College, had had a “detrimental impact” on Cornwall College.
The statement from the college said: “We regret that we are having to close our Saltash campus and recognise the impact these changes will have on our local community, which we have been proud to serve for the last 35 years.
"This decision results from the reduced funding for post-16 learners in colleges, which has shrunk by 30 per cent over the last 10 years. The recent increase in funding for learners aged 16-18, while welcome, does not go far enough in covering even inflationary costs; it brings funding up to 2010 rates. In this uncertain financial climate, difficult decisions are needed.
"We are working with all of our learners at Saltash to map out exciting progression opportunities to allow them to make the most of their talents and ambitions. We are consulting with our staff at Saltash; redeployment and retraining will be offered where possible. All other sites will remain open.”