Colleges announce merger

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Two of the south west’s largest colleges have joined forces.

Devon-based Bicton College has merged with The Duchy College, part of The Cornwall College Group, in a move which will see the creation of a “world class educational partnership” specialising in agriculture, horticulture and food across Devon and Cornwall.

The move creates one of the country’s largest education and training providers, with 40,000 learners across eight campuses in Devon and Cornwall.

Principal and CEO of The Cornwall College Group, Amarjit Basi, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to positively shape and influence the future of the south west economy.

“Both organisations bring extensive links with local schools and employers across the region, and a shared passion for providing young people with the right skills to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.”

Head of rural economy at The Cornwall College Group, Dr Phil Le Grice, added: “Farming is an integral part of the south west economy, with thousands of people in Devon and Cornwall involved in farming, food and the countryside. It is important that we work hard with the local community and farming industry to deliver opportunities for development and economic growth.”