One of the bidders which had its proposals for the future of Newton Rigg says it will not give up its fight.
Newton Rigg Ltd said it was seeking legal and professional advice about its next steps.
It was revealed on Friday that the strategic review of the college, near Penrith, was not able to approve any of the bids which were put forward.
Penrith and the Border MP Neil Hudson said he would meet with the Government and “work tirelessly with Government and stakeholders to try to secure a viable future for the delivery of land-based education from the Newton Rigg campus.”
Earlier this year, the current operator, York-based Askham Bryan College, announced that it would be pulling out of Newton Rigg and news of the possible closure of the college was greeted with dismay by the land-based community and Newton Rigg students past and present.
One of the bidders has not been identified but the other is Newton Rigg Ltd, based near Kendal.
It is made up of a number of prominent figures from the worlds of farming, education and business.
Andrew Cobb, chairman, and its directors released the following statement:
“We are deeply disappointed and frustrated that the Strategic Review team have rejected our proposals for the future of Newton Rigg College.
“As you’d expect, we are not giving up.
“We believe strongly that our bid should have been successful, and that the secure and stable future we outlined for Land-Based and General Further Education at Newton Rigg College remains both achievable and essential for Cumbria and the UK.
“Our fight for the future of Newton Rigg College, and to prevent this stripping of educational assets from Cumbria, will continue.
“We will follow legal and other professional advice, exploring every available option and will be working with local MPs and organisations over coming days and weeks to insist not only on ‘a future’ for education at Newton Rigg, but on ‘the right future’ for Newton Rigg, as outlined in our community-led proposals.
“We are glad that Dr Neil Hudson MP will be leading discussions to retain education at Newton Rigg College. We will enter these next steps with vigour and determination to ensure that Newton Rigg’s educational future is not compromised.
“Many people have stepped forward asking what they can do right now to challenge the situation at Newton Rigg College or share their views.
“Our message is this: Please ensure that your voice is heard by emailing Neil Hudson MP (or your local MP) and the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson MP. Every individual has the right to do this and right now, every voice is important.
“We would like to thank all our supporters and those who have contributed to our ‘fighting fund’. In this next stage, your support will be even more critical.
“We would also like to state our enormous respect and support for the brilliant and dedicated staff at Newton Rigg College, who are totally committed to the learning and personal development of their students – even during these challenging times.
“Without such dedication and commitment, there would be no college to save.”