Search for a suitor;FE Focus

23rd May 1997 at 01:00
Airedale and Wharfedale College is looking for suitors after announcing its intention to merge.

The 19,000-student college, recently rocked by the resignation of principal Chris Pratt and the appointment of governors' chair Martin Millgate as temporary chief executive, is looking for a partner in further or higher education near its Leeds base.

Mr Millgate has written to local FE and HE colleges announcing the decision, but the college is not yet in talks with any potential partners. Governors hope the merger will be finalised by August 1998.

"All FE colleges are being squeezed financially and because we are relatively small we're feeling the pinch," Mr Millgate said.

"The post-16 market in Leeds is very crowded and the board felt that our many curriculum strengths would be enhanced and better resourced by a merger."

* Tameside College of Technology's merger with nearby Hyde Clarendon College will be completed by next February.

The colleges say they will be better placed to raise participation rates by joining forces.

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