University Technical College in Burnley announces closure

Burnley's UTC Image copyright Google
Image caption The college is based in the restored Victoria Mill in Burnley

Lancashire's specialist construction and engineering college is to close at the end of the academic year due to low student numbers.

The University Technical College (UTC), opened in Burnley in September 2013.

The £10.3m college works with local employers to offer technical training in working environments.

Visions Learning Trust (VLT), which runs the facility, said it had failed to recruit enough students to secure financial viability.

'Only available option'

A total of 113 students currently attend the college and there were just 48 applications to begin studying there this September, the college confirmed.

Rod Dubrow-Marshall, VLT board member, said the decision to close the college was "hugely disappointing" but it was the "only available option" and the college would close on 31 August.

He added: "The wellbeing and success of students remains our highest priority and we hope by announcing this news promptly... we can give students, parents, carers and staff the maximum time possible to make alternative plans for September."

The trust said it was working with Lancashire County Council to try and ensure existing students could continue their technical education elsewhere and achieve engineering qualifications.

The UTCs, sponsored by a university, are similar to German technical schools where students can elect to follow skills-based education from their mid-teens.

There are currently 39 UTCs with another 16 planned by the end of the year.

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