Wiltshire

South Wiltshire UTC to close as 'no longer financially viable'

South Wiltshire UTC
Image caption The college offers students aged 14-18 educational courses and vocational training with companies

A college in Salisbury is to close four years after opening to students as it is "no longer financially viable".

South Wiltshire UTC offers 14-18 year olds educational courses and vocational training by being partnered with a university and companies in the area.

The Board of Governors said the college would close in August 2020 due to continuing low demand for places.

In a statement, the board said staff would focus on ensuring students successfully completed their courses.

The college specialises in teaching science, engineering and computing.

It opened in 2015 in a former police station following an £8m refurbishment.

"As a result of continued low demand for places at South Wiltshire UTC, making it no longer financially viable to continue, the Board of Governors with the Department for Education, have had no option but to take the difficult decision in principle to close the UTC in August 2020," the board said.

'Incredibly disappointing'

Students who were due to enrol and start in September 2019 have been informed of the decision and will be supported to find alternative places, the board added.

The statement said the outcome had been reached "after extensive discussion with the Department for Education, the Baker Dearing Educational Trust and Activate Learning Education Trust".

Principal Joe Mulligan said students who remained at the college in 2019/2020 would receive "the best possible education", including "continuing to work with our employer and university partners".

Doug Gale, chair of South Wiltshire UTC Trust, said the decision to close the college was "incredibly disappointing" for students and staff.

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