The Ashford campuses of West Kent and Ashford College and the Spring Lane campus of Hadlow College have been transferred to East Kent Colleges Group, it has been announced.
This follows both West Kent and Ashford College and Hadlow College entering administration last year. In January, administrators DBO published a report, setting out that Hadlow's Mottingham campus would be transferred to Capel Manor College on 1 January. It also said Hadlow’s Spring Lane (Canterbury) campus and the Ashford site of West Kent and Ashford College would be transferred to East Kent Colleges Group on 31 March.
Today, it was announced that the joint education administrators had agreed a contract with the governing body of EKC Group for the transfer of the provision and all education-related assets of these sites from 1 April 2020.
Need to know: West Kent and Ashford College enters administration
Graham Morley, interim principal and chief executive at West Kent and Ashford College, said: “The transfer of Ashford College, and the Spring Lane, Canterbury, provision of Hadlow College to EKC Group is the culmination of months of hard work and planning. With it, we have successfully secured the long-term future of further education within Ashford and preserved the specialised land-based provision at the Spring Lane site in Canterbury.
'Challenging times' for college
"However, given the close working relationships that exist between Ashford College and West Kent College, as well as between Hadlow College and those employed at Spring Lane, it is also with sadness that we say goodbye to our valued colleagues who are transferring to EKC Group. We wish them every success for the future.
"There is no disputing that the past few months have been challenging times, but the professionalism, hard work and commitment demonstrated by all of the staff involved is undisputed and has facilitated a move towards a secure future. This move brings to an end the uncertainty for students, staff and the wider communities we serve.”
Chief executive of EKC Group Graham Razey said: “Now that our group has incorporated both the Canterbury Spring Lane site, and Ashford College, into its family of colleges and business units, we can begin to systematically plan skills delivery across the whole of our area. Having Ashford College within our group will enable us to better serve our local communities, ensuring that we are able to truly deliver on the skills priorities needed to enable us to achieve our mission, of enhancing the social and economic prosperity of the communities we serve.
“Despite the current challenges we face, we know that our county’s employers will be well-positioned to face them, and I am really proud that we’ll be there to support the whole of East Kent’s recovery once the UK has beaten coronavirus.”