The MP for Penrith and The Border said he will not give up in fighting to save Newton Rigg College.
After current operator Askham Bryan said it would be pulling out of Newton Rigg next year, two bidders – Hadrian Group and Newton Rigg Ltd – stepped forward with plans for the campus.
But a strategic review by the Government said last Friday that neither bid was successful.
The review’s objectives were to promote the opportunity and test the ability of any interested parties to fund and deliver detailed business plans and proposals for the site
The Further Education Commissioner (FEC) team, which was co-ordinating the review said neither bid was able to meet the expectations and criteria set by the review to secure the long-term success of a potential new college or provider for students in the future.
Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and the Border, said: “I am deeply saddened that the review has not been able to approve any of the bids that came forward.
“I have already met with the further education minister to discuss the college and also with the Further Education Commissioner’s office about the review outcome.
“We have now been given a short window of opportunity to find an alternative solution to the campus.”
“I have met this week with both bidders. I am strongly supportive of what they are doing to secure a future for the campus and encouraging them to work together for a positive outcome.
“I will continue to work closely with them on this.
” I am meeting with and encouraging stakeholders to also join the cause.
“I will be pushing the Further Education Commissioner’s Office and Askham Bryan to be reasonable in the timescales for this, as well as the financial implications of the site.
“Askham Bryan as an institution with charitable status have a moral duty to the students and staff and the Cumbrian community, that they agreed to serve educationally in 2011, to facilitate a smooth transition to a new provider.
“They also need to be reasonable in their financial asks, considering they originally acquired the college for a nominal fee.
“I will keep making sure that Government hears loud and clear how important Newton Rigg is to our community, the rural economy, and the wider UK.
“I will not give up. We will not give up. Penrith needs Newton Rigg. Cumbria needs Newton Rigg. The UK needs Newton Rigg.”