'Merger was a lifesaver for both colleges'

Brooksby Melton College’s merger with Coalville-based Stephenson College two years ago was ‘a lifesaver’ for both colleges.

That was mentioned by Dawn Whitemore, principal and chief executive of SMB College Group, which manages the merged colleges, as she welcomed Education Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, to the Brooksby campus on Friday.

“The merger has been massive - it was a lifesaver for both colleges,” Mrs Whitemore told the Melton Times.

“We were asset rich and they were cash rich so it has worked really well.

“Together we now have this fantastic proposition which safeguards the future of both colleges.

“We have been going from strength to strength since the merger.”

Mrs Whitemore said she was proud to show off Brooksby’s facilities to the minister and she praised the work of teaching staff across the wide range of courses.

“He wanted to see what we are doing here as a result of the funding we received from the Department of Education and he seems really impressed,” she said.

“Mr Zahawi has been visiting our various sites and getting an insight from some of our students – it’s been a really good day for us.”

Mrs Kearns said: "This is my first proper look round the college site and it is a really wonderful place.

"Nadhim shares our passion for agri-education and skills, and he saw just how impressively they can be taught.

“This is the first agricultural college he has visited since becoming Education Minister so it is a real coup for Brooksby to have him here.”