Last night we learned the sad news that Askham Bryan College, York, being the owner of Newton Rigg College has received a final recommendation from the Further Education Commission (FEC). The recommendation states that they should not accept either of the two bids that have been received from parties interested in purchasing the Newton Rigg site with a view to continuing it as a seat of learning. As a result Askham Bryan can now continue with its planned closure of the site by July 2021.

However, the FEC and Education and Skills Funding Authority (ESFA) have also proposed to Askham Bryan that they should work with the local MP, Dr Neil Hudson, Eden District Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership and other stakeholders to establish whether they can secure some form of reduced, alternative educational delivery based at the Newton Rigg site, likely to be focussed on land based education.

Our heartfelt best wishes go out to all the staff, students and members of the wider community who work and learn at the college, and to the wider communities who make use of the facilities at Newton Rigg. The Farmer Network Ltd has been based at Newton Rigg campus for several years. We will now be monitoring developments with a view to finding new premises from which to continue running the Farmer Network if needed.

Further details can be found at: -