An MP has said he is “shocked and hugely concerned” at plans to close part of a college campus with the loss of 56 jobs.
Warrington and Vale Royal College (WVRC) in Cheshire announced last week it would “decommission the majority” of its Hartford campus as it was “seriously under-utilised” and cut 14 per cent of the full-time equivalents (FTEs) workforce.
Mike Amesbury, MP for Weaver Vale, said he was previously assured the campus’ future was secure. He urged WVRC to reconsider the proposed redundancies. “The loss of the campus will be a blow not only to the staff whose jobs are threatened but also to current and future learners in the region,” he added.
'Strong and sustainable future'
University and College Union (UCU) regional official Martyn Moss has now called for an explanation of how the Hartford campus had gone from being secure to facing closure in a matter of months.
A WVRC spokesperson said the college had committed to a policy of estate consolidation in their merger proposals. “In keeping with the aims of the area based review, we will ensure that WVRC is financially sustainable and readily able to respond to any challenges ahead.”
The spokesperson added: “We have commenced a consultation with staff and trade unions about these proposals to achieve a strong and sustainable future for the college and to ensure that staffing levels are appropriate.”
Four-course college campus
Fifty-six FTEs out of 390 are at risk, but the spokesperson said they would look for voluntary redundancies before the need for compulsory redundancies.
Only four courses – electrical installation, English and maths, fabrication and welding and performing engineering operations/mechanical engineering – would remain on site for the 2018/19 academic year.
WVRC was formed following a merger last August of Mid Cheshire College and Warrington Collegiate.