Bids to secure future of Newton Rigg College unsuccessful

Credit: PA / ITV News

Cumbria's only specialist agricultural college will close in July after attempts to find a new operator failed.

It has been confirmed that two bids to secure a viable future for the Newton Rigg Campus, in Cumbria, have been unsuccessful.

The Penrith-based campus employs more than 100 staff and has almost 900 students.

The final element of the Further Education Commissioner led Newton Rigg Strategic Review was unable to find an organisation to continue delivering land-based education at the campus.

Owner Askham Bryan College plans to sell the site when it closes in July.

Prince Charles during a visit to Newton Rigg College in 2018. Credit: PA

A statement from MP Neil Hudson, who has been campaigning to save Newton Rigg said: "Although this news is not what we as a community would have liked, I want to affirm that this is not the end. 

"It is vital that we continue to fight to maintain Land-Based education for our young people in Cumbria.

"We already have strong local and national support as well as political support, and I am continuing to work with stakeholders near and far, as well as local government and national government to ensure educational provision in some form can continue. 

"I will not give up fighting for Newton Rigg and Land-based educational provision. We as a community will not give up.

"It is important that we look to the future and not to view this as the end of Newton Rigg.

"The message still remains: Penrith needs Newton Rigg, Cumbria needs Newton Rigg, the UK needs Newton Rigg."