Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that a land-based educational charity has secured the future of one of Newton Rigg College’s sites.
The Ernest Cook Trust will continue to operate Low Beckside Farm, Mungrisdale, as a ‘crucial learning resource for the region’.
The college is set to close later this month.
In a statement, the Ernest Cook Trust said: “There was local concern at the potential loss of this valuable learning resource to the children and young people of Cumbria.
“Thanks to our intervention, its future looks secure as an operating farm and we look forward to re-establishing it as a learning centre.
“Our aim is to get more people learning from the land by operating the farm alongside training schemes, apprenticeships, demonstrations, educational visits, workshops, seminars and open days.”
Mr Farron, who represents Westmorland and Lonsdale, said:“I’m really encouraged that the Ernest Cook Trust have decided to take on Low Beckside Farm to promote outdoor learning for young people in Cumbria.
“The continuation of land-based education is so important to the future of farming and also tourism in our county.
“While I really welcome the news, it’s very sad that Newton Rigg College is still set to close and I remain utterly bewildered that the Government have shrugged their shoulders and let this happen.
“I’m pleading with the Government to show the same kind of commitment to land-based education that the Ernest Cook Trust have shown, and step in to save Newton Rigg College.”