THE group in charge of Malvern Hills College has hit back after a number of local figures criticised them for the way they have handled closing the site.

A WCG spokesman responded after West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin urged them to accept a “formal offer” from Worcestershire Community Foundation.

READ MORE: "Formal offer" submitted for Malvern Hills College site

They said: “We received an unexpected email from the Worcestershire Community Foundation on February, 12 2021 in which it expressed interest in purchasing the Malvern Hills College site. In the communication it indicated that there is, of course, the need to carry out necessary due diligence and regulatory requirements as part of any formal offer process.

“We are working to ensure that the WCG Corporation Board meets its statutory obligations and as part of this, continue to take advice from our appointed independent advisors, who have made contact with the Foundation this week.”

READ MORE: Malvern Hills College site secured as asset of community value by town council

The spokesman also called for time, saying the process of selling the site had to be done properly, adding interjections from Malvern Hills District Council and the Malvern Hills College SOS Task Group were “unhelpful”.

They added: “It is important in any property transaction that investment over time is recognised and the Malvern Hills College site has benefitted from considerable investment since it was sold by the District Council back in 2008.

“We believe it is right and proper that this process is worked through without undue and unhelpful pressure from third parties playing out in the media.

“All those statements serve to do is highlight an apparent lack of awareness of post-16 skills policy or indeed the legal framework placed on College Corporation Boards by the Department for Education, and do not in any way aid the process of seeking a sensible resolution.”

Mrs Baldwin last week called for WCG to accept an £850,000 bid from the foundation for the college, which is set to close this year. The wrote to WCG following news of the bid.

Meanwhile, Malvern Town Council successfully applied for the site to be identified as an “asset of community value” - protecting its long-term use while a buyer is found.

Mrs Baldwin said: “The community has worked together to find a workable solution which allows the retention of teaching on the site and has an ambitious plan to add more courses. The building is protected by a covenant and all the key stakeholders in Malvern are united in our efforts to preserve the site and its teaching potential.”