24 March 2021
MP gets ‘positive’ Ministerial response over college closure

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has held constructive discussions with the Department for Education as the campaign to save Malvern Hills College gathers pace.

Harriett held a virtual meeting with Skills Minister Gillian Keegan to discuss the proposed closure of the historic college by Warwickshire College Group and her efforts to preserve teaching on the Albert Road North site.

She briefed the Minister on the latest developments which will see the community bid for the college and improve teaching provision for Malvern residents of all ages.

Warwickshire College Group is looking to sell the site after abandoning its publicly-funded post-16 teaching onsite last year.

A covenant is in place protecting teaching at the site and Harriett has written to the Education and Skills Funding Agency asking for the covenant to be kept in place.

Harriett has been working with a local bidder and is now urging Warwickshire College Group to accept the offer, allowing courses to re-start in September.

Harriett said: “I was keen to make sure the Skills Minister was brought up to speed on the latest developments and we had a very positive discussion.

“Time is of the essence as we need to preserve the college as a going concern and there is a willing bidder in place who is offering a fair price to take over the site.

“The Education and Skills Funding Agency is currently carrying out an assessment of local teaching provision and I asked the Minister to have a final say.

“I am encouraged by the way that all parties are coming to the same conclusion that teaching should be preserved at this historic site.

“I repeat my call to Warwickshire College Group to get around the table with the consortium and ensure a smooth transition to new ownership at the price at which they acquired the site.”