Stoke & Staffordshire

Campaigners fight to save Wedgwood Memorial College

A campaign group has been launched to fight proposals to close a Stoke-on-Trent college.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council announced plans to close Wedgwood Memorial College last month as part of a package of cuts to save £24m.

The Labour-controlled council said the closure of the Barlaston-based college, which provides adult learning courses, would save more than £28,000 a year.

Campaigners say a trust could run the college without council funding.

Former college principal Derek Tatton said: "Our plan is from 1 April next year to relaunch the college on the right direction.

"Within months it will be generating enough money to be self financing."

Esperanto Association

The proposals tabled by the council also include the future sale of the property.

The council said the majority of people who currently use the facility come from out of the Stoke-on-Trent area, and that its closure would have a minimal impact on local people.

As well as adult learning courses, the college is used for weddings and conferences.

It has also been the headquarters of the Esperanto Association of Britain since 1960.

Tim Owen, from the association, said he backed plans to set up an independent trust and that he had been "dismayed" to learn of the council's proposals.

A consultation period on all the budget plans is due to close on 23 December, with the final budget due to be set in February.

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