To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the contribution to agriculture in the UK (a) regionally, and (b) nationally, by Newton Rigg College in Cumbria, and (2) the potential future contribution of the College to agriculture in the UK; and what steps they plan to take to ensure longevity for the College and its resources.
In 2020, the Further Education Commissioner undertook a local provision needs analysis of Newton Rigg Campus, located near Penrith, at the request of the governing body of Askham Bryan College. Its purpose was to establish whether there is a need for further education provision in the general location of the current campus. The analysis provided the governing body with options to consider regarding the future of provision at the campus. The analysis considered travel to learn data and mapping for young people and adult students, including enrolment density by ward and travel to learn time and pattern, based on public transport and by actual travel time by car. Most students studying agricultural provision at Newton Rigg at the time of the analysis tended to live closer to the campus and were mainly from Cumbria and surrounding counties.
Further Education Colleges in England are independent of government and the decision to close Newton Rigg Campus in July 2021 and subsequently dispose of the site has been made by the governing body of Askham Bryan College.
From September 2021, Kendal College have confirmed they will offer agricultural and other land-based provision from level 1 to level 3, which will be delivered in the Penrith area. In addition, a partnership between Myerscough College and Ullswater Community College will provide further education for young people in animal management and agriculture in the local area surrounding Newton Rigg.