A new college for the local area, Bath College, has been launched to mark the start of a new chapter of further education for Bath and North East Somerset.
The new multi-campus college came into operation yesterday (7th April) to give students more choice, greater opportunities and a wider range of facilities.
The ‘bigger and better’ college has been formed by the merger of City of Bath College and Norton Radstock College.
Bath College has the City Centre Campus in Avon Street, Bath, and the Somer Valley Campus in South Hill Park, Westfield.
The scale and influence of the new college, as well as its combined expertise, is expected to provide a real stimulus for economic growth.
Its focus will be work-ready skills to ensure students are able to meet the demands of the local labour market.
Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said the new college would be taking further education in Bath and North East Somerset from good to excellent.
He said: “This is an exciting time for us all with both students and employers reaping the benefits.
“The new college opens up so many opportunities; we now offer an even wider range of vocational and academic courses, in an even greater range of subjects.
“We are building on the strengths of the two colleges and moving forward to deliver outstanding learning and progression opportunities.”
He added: “As a merged college we will continue to be responsive to the communities we serve.
“We will continue to work tirelessly to make the people of Bath and North East Somerset proud of their new college.”
Bath College provides vocational and educational training for more than 3,000 full-time students and around 10,000 part-time students across the broadest range of subjects.
The merger has been completed in 18 weeks after the Department for Business Innovation and Skills identified it as the best possible option following Norton Radstock College’s inadequate Ofsted inspection.
Matt thanked staff, students, governors and community partners for working hard to keep the merger on schedule, and explained that the merger was ‘just the beginning.’
He said: “Today is the first day of our new college, a new college which marks the start of bigger and better things.
“Today is the start of a new future.”