A CONTROVERSIAL bid to change the name of Worcester College of Technology has been blocked by the Government – after being branded “misleading”.

The college merges with Bromsgrove’s North East Worcestershire College in August, and wanted to call the newly-formed institute “Worcestershire College”.

The two colleges had formally applied to the Government for the new joint name, but shortly afterwards one county MP announced he would be opposing the move.

Mid Worcestershire MP Sir Peter Luff had tried to stop it going ahead by suggesting it would jeopardise other county college’s futures and confuse potential students.

The Government has now told both colleges involved in the merger that the new name “should not wrongly suggest” regional pre-eminence, and has insisted they must go back to the drawing board.

Your Worcester News understands the technology college had not thought of any alternative options because it was so sure of approval, despite Mr Luff’s outrage.

A spokesman for the technology college said: “We have been informed of the decision and will be in consultation with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to find a suitable alternative.”

Mr Luff has called the decision “very pleasing” and said it was “outrageous” they attempted it in the first place.

The MP said he feared South Worcestershire and Pershore colleges were facing uncertain futures because of the now-ditched “aggressive” name.

“It’s a victory for common sense,” he said.

“I’m very pleased, it was clear to me this was outrageously wrong. I had made my representations to the Government but this is the first I’ve heard about it, it’s great news.”

The Government’s Department for Business, Innovation Skills said the name did not “meet their guidance”.

A spokesman said: “The request to change the name to Worcestershire College has been declined.

“Our guidance states that a corporation name should not be confusing or misleading. As such it should not wrongly suggest regional or national pre-eminence or imply that a college serves a wider or different area than is the case.”

The department has told both colleges it is “more than happy” to consider another name.