Mergers of colleges in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft is official

East Coast College
CEO and principal Stuart Rimmer.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

East Coast College CEO and principal Stuart Rimmer. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The colleges of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft have now been formally merged to create East Coast College with campuses in both towns.

Mike Burrows, chairman

Mike Burrows, chairman - Credit: East Coast College

It became official on July 31 with a new board in place, recruited over the previous months and chaired by Mick Burrows.

Yarmouth college chief executive officer Stuart Rimmer was

preparedly appointed in the same position and principal for East Coast College for October 2017.

Following an area review in 2015 and endorsed by a further review in 2016/17, the two colleges have been working towards formal merger in time for the 2017/18 academic year.

A six-month pilot area review was carried out to identify the opportunities and challenges faced by those delivering post-16 education in the local area.

It sought to address ways to protect and enhance the provision available and it was proposed the merger would result in the colleges being better equipped to serve the area; delivering a full range of vocational and traditional academic courses, with integrated degree level opportunities, while maintaining a more solid financial footing at a time when public funding is under increasing pressure.

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The colleges initially formed a federation as East Coast College in April this year and launching their new name, strategic plan, vision for the future and identity.

It leads on from research which showed providing apprenticeship training to equip learners with the skills to succeed and address the skills shortages facing industry was needed.

The college now operates from both Yarmouth and Lowestoft campuses, and is a partner college of the University of Suffolk, offering 25 subjects at degree level aligned to local and national strategic priorities.

Mr Rimmer said: 'East Coast College is all about taking people's passions and turning them into a profession. We focus on progression into meaningful and rewarding careers from Entry level all the way to degrees.'

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