A FORMER arts college in Malvern could be saved with a £400,000 funding bid to be discussed next week.

Councillors from the district will meet for an extraordinary meeting of Malvern Hills District Council on July 26 where they will discuss a bid from Malvern Hills

Arts and Community College to allow them to purchase the former Malvern Hills College property.

If approved, it is hoped the college could be re-opened next year to offer arts and vocational training.

Gemma Wiseman, from MHACC, said nothing was guaranteed, but that they were optimistic ahead of the meeting.

She said: "There is a county council meeting this week and the district next week, and we have been working with both councils, the Bransford Trust and the Worcestershire LEP with our plans being scrutinised, so it is a step in the right direction."

Malvern Hills College was closed by the current owners WCG last summer after a shock announcement in November 2020.

Since then, a group called Save Malvern Hills College was established by staff and students to campaign against the closure, with an SOS task group also set up for the same purpose.

From within the task group, a new non-profit company was set up, Malvern Hills Arts and Community College (MHACC) in April 2021.

In May this year, MHACC asked the district council for £400,000 of grant funding so it could buy the vacant college building in Albert Road North.

A similar request was also made to Worcestershire County Council and the Bransford Trust has also been asked for funding.

A covenant had been put in place by MHDC to ensure the college remained a place of education regardless of its closure.

In November last year, the council voted to honour the covenant, paving the way for it to remain a further education college.

If approved, the plan is for the college to re-open in autumn 2023.

The council's funding would not be repayable or bear interest, however, the grant would be protected by a legal charge on the company, allowing the council to recover some or all of its funding if the business failed or no longer operated as a college.

MHDC would also be represented in some way on the board of the new college.