A troubled college group is set to lose another one of its campuses at the end of this academic year, FE Week can reveal.
Hull College Group has taken the decision to close Goole College after finding that it is running at a loss and deeming the premises to be of “low quality”.
The move will involve Hull College dropping the word “group” from its name, as it will now only consist of one site having demerged from its other campus, Harrogate College, in 2019.
Former Dudley College boss Lowell Williams was employed by Hull College Group earlier this year as a consultant to work on an estates strategy, and has now taken the reins as interim chief executive.
In an interview with FE Week he said: “There is no need for the Goole College site.
“It is running on a loss and there are better options for young people and adults locally, so the college has made the decision to stop trading at the end of this academic year.”
A statement from the college added: “The detailed arrangements will be made available in due course as we work with East Riding Council and other local providers to ensure an ongoing place for all of our Goole College learners.
“The corporation have identified that Goole College is not in a position to best meet the future needs of learners and having maintained this loss making provision for some time, the college is no longer in a position to do so.”
Goole has been a part of Hull College since before the turn of the millennium, and according to its website, currently runs courses up to level 3 in areas such as hairdressing, mechanical engineering and welding, and health and social care; as well as ESOL, foundation courses, and higher education courses in teacher education and early years.
Williams said the college was informing staff of the decision this morning and insisted there are “significant redeployment opportunities” to the college’s main site, so he is “hoping but cannot guarantee” that there will not be any redundancies.
The interim chief executive said the college will speak with stakeholders about the decision, including the Conservative Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy, who has been approached for comment.
Recently published board minutes for October 2020 for Hull College also suggest it is looking at moving away from its city centre campus. The minutes said: “Governors discussed whether the college should consider a move away from its current city centre site with the interim chief executive explaining that this was not yet a theme that had been explored but he was preparing to engage in those conversations with key stakeholders.”
Hull College Group has run into a number of problems in recent years and received a £42 million bailout from the government in 2018 as part of a Fresh Start process.
Its financial troubles were what led to Harrogate College being transferred to the Leeds-based Luminate Education Group in 2019.
FE Commissioner intervention is ongoing at the college.