Doncaster College in merger talks with North Lindsey College

Doncaster College is in takes to merge with a college in Lincolnshire to help create a more skilled workforce across the borough.

Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 1:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:23 pm
The Hub campus of Doncaster College.

The college is in talks with a merger with North Lindsey College, in Scunthorpe.

College leaders believe the move will help create a more skilled workforce and meet the needs of the employers, by putting on more courses and training programmes.

Principal and interim chief executive of Doncaster College Rachel Davies

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Principal and interim chief executive Rachel Davies said: “We have been in discussions with North Lindsey College for the last few months about the possibility of a merger.

“The reason we have done that is really because we think the two institutions with our combined capacity will be able to much better provide for the skills and needs of the future workforce in Doncaster.

“We are both strong colleges and we both have our own local vocational programmes and courses. We both deliver apprenticeships and vocational courses, have strong higher education growth and strong relationships with employers in our areas.

“We feel two combined organisations will strengthen our ability to be able to meet some of the training needs that are inevitably going to come as Doncaster continues to develop and grow.

Principal and interim chief executive of Doncaster College Rachel Davies

“It will give us much greater capacity - with our combined staff skills will be able to put on more courses and programmes.”

Governing bodies are discussing the merger plans and if they decide to move forward a month-long public consultation. If it’s to go-ahead then it is unlikely to do so before the end of the year.

Mrs Davies said the move hasn’t come about in a bid to save money and will complement the college’s plan to create a bespoke university at its Waterfront campus.

Earlier this year the college announced plans to close its High Melton campus and move degree courses to its main hub on Chappell Drive, in the town centre.

“It’s come about generally because of the opportunity it creates,” she said.

“Certainly the college’s will be financially strong and outstanding but I won’t deny that we will want to save some efficiencies around duplication.”

Staff and unions have been told about the talks and students will be informed over the coming days.

She added: “If it goes ahead it will be an incremental change as the two institutions work together. Students won’t see any differences and our courses will continue.”

Dan Fell, the chief executive of Doncaster Chamber, felt a merger could be a positive move.

He said that Doncaster is popular with companies in the logistic sector, and there is growth in other industries.

He added: “There will be more growth around rail and engineering and it approproate that educational institutions are gearing up to support these industries.”