STRATFORD College is celebrating a successful first year following a merger.
The Alcester Road college was in turmoil two years ago when it had to bailed out by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) after Lloyds Bank refused to provide temporary financial support. Part of the bail out also saw former principal Nicola Mannock replaced.
The college started searching for a possible merger partner before agreeing a deal with Solihull College & University Centre which came into force last February.
And college chiefs said the merger had “ushered in an exciting new era” for both colleges, with new courses and opportunities available to students.
They also said there was now greater support on offer to the local business community with the development of new apprenticeship schemes.
Investment has seen Stratford’s IT infrastructure upgraded across campus, improving facilities for staff and learning opportunities for the 4,000 students.
College chiefs say money will also be made available for a planned campus revamp.
And recent open days in November and January were attended by a record number of potential students.
Lindsey Stewart, chief operating officer, said: “It has been a great pleasure leading a reinvigorated Stratford-upon-Avon College.
“I always believed in the merger’s potential, but the past year has proved to be even more exciting and successful than I hoped. “Thanks to the merger with Solihull, we have introduced an enhanced curriculum and greater apprenticeship opportunities, and I look forward to many more years in which we constantly improve our service to the whole of the local community.”