GOVERNORS have agreed to a merger which will make Kidderminster College the newest division of NCG - one of the largest education and training groups in the country.

From August 1, Kidderminster will become a part of NCG, ready for the start of the new term. College Principal Andy Dobson said: “This is a hugely exciting time for the college and will bring opportunities that would be out of our reach as a small, independent further education college.

“We will continue to determine our own curriculum in response to local need, with NCG’s full backing for growth and development.”

Kidderminster College started the search for a suitable partner more than a year ago and evaluated all the proposals before choosing NCG.

Following public consultation the governors of both organisations agreed the merger this week.

Mr Dobson added: “The college will retain its identity and name and will operate as a division of NCG, which fully shares our commitment to putting learners and the community first, and offers us a very strong and positive future.

“In these times of greatly reduced funding and increased competition for learners, being part of a larger organisation is the best strategy for securing local provision and bringing continued investment to help us meet the needs of learners, employers and the community.”

NCG, which has a nationwide network of colleges and training organisations, already works extensively across the Midlands and Kidderminster College will now become a flagship for the group’s operations in the area.

Chief executive of NCG, Joe Docherty, said: “We are delighted that Kidderminster has decided to join NCG. Kidderminster is a successful college, which serves the needs of the local community, and we will now be able to bring some of the expertise and resources of a national training group to Kidderminster.

“We already have a strong presence in the West Midlands, so having Kidderminster College as part of the group expands what we can offer in the region and we are very much focused on providing what local employers and students need.”