STRATFORD College is ready for the start of a new era after completing a merger with neighbouring Solihull College.
Less than a year ago the then cash-strapped Alcester Road college had to be bailed out by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) – after Lloyds Bank refused to provide temporary financial support.
And part of the bail out saw former Warwickshire College deputy principal Andrew Cropley take over as interim principal from Nicola Mannock as principal.
Plans for a merger with Solihull College & University Centre were announced within a couple of months, and the complex merger process was concluded under the leadership of John Callaghan, who is now principal of both colleges.
Bosses say the merger will allow both colleges to maintain their identities but work together to develop a varied curriculum offering greater choice to both students and staff.
Stratford College, building on its core strengths in creative arts, culture, hospitality and sport, an enhanced curriculum will include over 20 new courses.
Mr Callaghan explained: “Stratford College’s creative curriculum was one of the key factors in our decision to merge with them and I am delighted that our enhanced course offer will enable us to serve a wider section of the community.
“Stratford is a town unique in its cultural and historical significance and, by drawing on its distinctive character, we are adding another dimension to our unparalleled curriculum.”
The merger is also set to benefit the local business community. As part of a larger organisation, and following changes to apprenticeship funding, Stratford is now in a position to further develop relationships with employers and create new apprenticeship opportunities.
Visit www.stratford.ac.uk for further details.