A NEW chapter opens in the history of Malvern Hills College this week with its formal merger with Evesham College.

Staff from Evesham were to travel to Malvern today (Friday) for a joint meeting addressed by David Blades, principal of the renamed Evesham and Malvern College.

Also present will be the chairman of governors, Terry Hartley.

The merger formalises the close relationship between the two colleges over several years. It also comes at a time of investment at Malvern, with a planning application having been submitted for a new teaching block.

This will be decided by the district council on Monday (September 4).

"This will be a truly auspicious occasion," said Lionel Carter, the current director of Malvern Hills College, who will soon to be a member of the combined colleges' senior management team with special responsibilities for overseeing operations in Malvern.

"The merger will make available to us the strengths of a bigger organisation and provide access to more resources to maintain and build upon what the College has achieved in the past."

Today's events will bring to a close the work by the Wyvern Trust, which has been responsible for the operation of Malvern Hills College since 1982.

It was formed to take on the College in 1992, when the former Hereford and Worcester County Council announced it was looking to sell the site. It was eventually bought by Malvern Hills District Council.

On September 30, trustees, governors, students and staff will gather to celebrate the Trust's efforts to keep the College afloat over 18 years.

Coun Pat Raven, chairman of Malvern Hills District Council and a former member of the College staff, will unveil a plaque. The College says it has made strenuous efforts to invite as many people as possible and be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to attend.