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College site future in Wolverhampton in doubt after review

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

The future of a college campus used by more than 350 students in Wolverhampton is in doubt after a review of the site was launched.

City of Wolverhampton College chiefs say The Cedars Horticultural Centre on Compton Road West is part of an ongoing study of the college's structure with course curriculums and other estates also being monitored.

The centre's site, which is one of the largest providers of horticulture and floristry courses in the Midlands, is adjacent to the Compton Park development which is being built by Redrow – the company of Wolves owner Steve Morgan.

But the company said it is not currently buying the site.

Principal of City of Wolverhampton College, Mark Robertson said: "The college is undergoing a full review of its curriculum and estates to ensure that we can best meet the needs of our students, employers and communities in the years ahead.

"The provision at The Cedars is being considered as part of this review but no decision as to its future has yet been taken.

"City of Wolverhampton College is fully committed to providing high quality learning and to using its funding in the most effective way possible to give the maximum number of learners a great opportunity to develop their skills and enhance their career prospects."

The Express & Star understands staff were informed of the review three weeks ago.

Redrow has denied making a bid for the two-and-a-quarter acre site and a statement from the firm said: "We are not currently purchasing any land from Wolverhampton College.

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"We consider land in lots of places all of the time but it is our general policy not to discuss potential sites until they are subject to a planning application. We do not comment on speculation or rumour."

It comes after the Express & Star reported last week that Wolverhampton City Council was going to sell the 19th century Compton Grange which is a matter of yards away from the Horticultural Centre.

The council refused to say how much the property or surrounding land was worth but took the decision to sell the site with the authority having to make £60 million in savings over the next five years due to Government budget.

Services at the adult education service held at Compton Grange are to be relocated to other facilities in west Wolverhampton.

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Two weeks ago Ofsted inspectors visited the college to see if they would revise its inadequate rating.

The rating given last time around was the worst in a four-point scale and was revealed in a report published last March.

Officials carried out a full inspection to see whether to alter that.

The education watchdog visited the site in the same week as Mr Robertson took on the role of principal.

He replaces the interim principal of one year John Hogg.

Mr Robertson was deputy principal at South Staffordshire College for four years and before that he was vice principal for curriculum and quality at Cannock Chase Technical College.

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