A WORCESTER college will be formally merged with another college in Redditch and Bromsgrove, it has been announced today.

The merger between North East Worcestershire (NEW) College and Worcester College of Technology, based in the city's Deansway, will take place from August.

The decision, which was agreed by both corporations, aims to provide Worcestershire with 'a local solution to deliver high quality further and higher education and training'.

Concerns were expressed during the consultation, which ended on April 17, from insiders within the college who declined to named in the Worcester News. One person was worried about the relocation of business support staff to Redditch but a spokesman for the college said the location of staff was still under discussion. The proposal is to base the head office in Redditch. A letter, also anonymous, entitled "Save Worcester College of Technology" said "staff morale is very low" and that information given had been "sketchy" with staff in the dark about their future.

A joint statement from John Callaghan, principal of NEW College and Stuart Laverick, principal of Worcester College of Technology, read: “This is an exciting time for all those involved at NEW College and Worcester College of Technology. The merger will provide greater opportunities for our students and will help raise aspirations and self confidence.

"It will significantly improve their employability prospects by providing greater work experience opportunities. The opportunity to further develop key partnerships within the local area will be enhanced. As a merged college, we will be able to provide high quality facilities and innovative virtual learning environments. Importantly, the merger will support the local economy by providing employers with access to relevant training skills. We have been in consultation with our stakeholders and we are grateful for their support. We will continue to work with all our partners to ensure that we are delivering relevant education and training throughout Worcestershire.”

Whilst students returning to or enrolling at the colleges in September will not be affected by changes to provision, it is envisaged that future students in Worcestershire will benefit from "increased opportunities and a wider range of provision, as the benefits of the merger take effect".