STRATFORD College is looking forward to a bright future after securing a merger deal.
The cash-strapped college announced in March it was being 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 from Nicola Mannock as principal.
The College today announced it planned to merge with Solihull College & University Centre. The target date for the merger is January 1, and both organisations say will take every measure to ensure the transition is as efficient and seamless as possible.
Mr Cropley said:. “I am delighted that we have finalised a partnership with such a successful college, with the full support of the FE Commissioner. Solihull will enable us to offer our students greater opportunities, enhanced progression, and better facilities and equipment.
“The merger will allow us to develop deeper partnerships with local employers and to better serve the community of Stratford-upon-Avon. As part of a larger organisation, we are assured financial security which will enable us to fully invest in our students.
“At the same time, Stratford-upon-Avon College is committed to retaining its unique identity; we will continue to support local learners, businesses and the wider community by offering a broad Further Education curriculum on the Stratford site.”
John Callaghan, principal at Solihull College & University Centre, was equally enthusiastic.
He said: : “I am very pleased that we have been selected by SUAC as their merger partner.
“We are aware that a number of high-performing organisations submitted very strong proposals, so I am very pleased that we have been selected by SUAC as their merger partner.
“We each possess unique areas of expertise and this merger will enable us to maximise our combined strengths for the benefit of all students and staff. I look forward to a successful combined future.”