Important merger update from Central College and New College
As we head towards the close of another busy year for both NCN and Central College, we would like to provide you with an update on the progress we are making towards the creation of a single FE college for Nottingham through the successful merger of the two organisations. The Governing Boards of both colleges, with the support of the FE Commissioner, are committed to realising the opportunities and benefits this will bring in helping to close the skills gap and deliver growth and prosperity in Nottingham and the wider region. In September, the colleges agreed to a pre-merger Federation arrangement whereby the two organisations could start to implement the changes towards full merger.
A great deal of progress has been made in the last few months, in terms of our submission for funding, the review of our estate assets and our senior leadership structure.
FUNDING FOR MERGER
Our bid to the Transaction Unit (TU) for funding has received a very favourable response and is winging its way through Treasury. We have secured funding offers from the LEP, the City Council and the bank and are optimistic that we will be close to finalising negotiations with all the funders before the Christmas recess. This puts us in pole position to drive for merger early in the New Year as planned.
REVIEW OF ESTATE
To create a sustainable college, we have needed to take a good look at the various sites operated by both colleges across the city. Under the direction of Debbie Callaghan, Director of Estates and Capital Projects we will identify the most efficient use of buildings for the future curriculum. There will be no closures of sites without full consultation with staff, students and other parties, and no closures are likely before 2020. Plans for the City Hub (formerly referred to as Skills Hub) will start to take shape once the necessary funding is in place, with a target date of being open for students by September 2020.
FUJITSU INNOVATION HUB
Our Basford Hall campus is now home to the city’s Fujitsu Innovation Hub which will act as a catalyst to increase digital engagement in the community. Thanks to a £25,000 investment from Fujitsu and its partners Intel, Brocade and Kyocera, the Innovation Hub features a touchscreen PC, mini PC, tablets and notebooks which will all be free for students and the public to use.
Officially opened on 7th December, the Innovation Hub is part of a national engagement initiative that aims to highlight the use of computing power to underpin knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and drive forward innovation and digital skills development.
On behalf of our students, staff and partners, we want to thank you for your continued support and encouragement through the complex process towards merger. We return in early January to continue at pace and with determination to see Nottingham College established and thriving in 2017.
May we wish you a peaceful and joyful Christmas and New Year.
Chair of Designate Board (Nottingham College) and Chair of Central College Nottingham
John van de Laarschot
CEO of ncn and Central College Nottingham