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MP calls on University of Cumbria to back bid by Kendal College to take over FE provision

March 11, 2010 12:00 AM

Tim has been leading the campaign to save Ambleside CampusSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the Vice-Chancellor of Cumbria University to back the bid by Kendal College to take over Further Education provision at the Newton Rigg campus creating a single, distinctive college for the South Lakes and Eden with its HQ in Kendal.

The proposals by Kendal College are to split away the Further Education curriculum from the University of Cumbria and join them into a new single educational provider for our area. Currently half the Further Education courses provided by the University of Cumbria are deemed by national standards to be 'inadequate'. Kendal College's excellent academic record would give it the chance to rescue this situation.

The deal would also relieve the University of a significant amount of its debt - giving the Ambleside campus a real boost.

The university of Cumbria are undergoing a detailed options analysis in the long term viability of the campus and at a recent meeting the Vice-Chancellor could not commit to the campus 'being a going concern' for the institution. Tim has been working closely with the college and the various agencies like the NWDA (North West Development Agency) to try and support the University through its financial crisis. All the previous offers have been ignored by the university senior management.

This new plan form Kendal College comes on the back of recent news that the University was forced into a major climb down and allow Outdoor Studies students to remain at Ambleside after a successful community campaign led by MP Tim Farron. This new plan is also hoped to slash the overheads of the University and allow them to keep Teacher Education students at Ambleside.

Tim said: "I am today calling on Peter McCaffery the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria to accept the proposals of Kendal College and merge Newton Rigg's FE provision with Kendal's.

I am disappointed in the University's failure to accept any of the offers that we have put on the table - now is the time for them to take the help that is available. The proposed merger could safeguard the campuses at Ambleside and Newton Rigg, the University would be wrong not to accept it, they should bite our hands off."