Three new bodies created as six colleges merge in Wales

College students (generic)
Image caption The colleges say the mergers will benefit their students.

Six further education colleges have come together in three mergers involving more than 73,000 students.

Neath Port Talbot College and Coleg Powys become the NPTC Group while Coleg y Cymoedd (College of the Valleys) is created from Coleg Morgannwg and The College Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly county.

Coleg Cambria is made up of Deeside College and Yale College, Wrexham.

College chiefs say they will bring stronger institutions with more choice.

All changes came into force on 1 August.

The mergers are part of a drive to slim down the number of further education (FE) colleges in Wales.

The Welsh government wants to see fewer, stronger FE colleges and universities, which will benefit from pooled resources and economies of scale.

The combined turnover of the new NPTC Group will be £53m, and the colleges say the merger will bring benefits to 26,000 full and part-time students from both Neath Port Talbot and Powys across 12 campuses.

This will mean a "stronger and broader" range of educational opportunities and an increased financial capability for both long-term planning and development "to better reflect 21st Century education".

'Vast range'

The chair of governors at NPTC, Gaynor Richards, said: "Both institutions have been successful in their own right. Together we will be stronger and the future brighter."

Anyone who applied for a course at either the former NPTC or Coleg Powys are not affected by the changes.

With Coleg Morgannwg and The College Ystrad Mynach joining forces the Coleg y Cymoedd will have more than 25,000 students, 1,000 staff and a turnover of £42m.

It will operate across five campuses spanning an area from north Cardiff across Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly.

"The merger will enable us to provide even greater choice across a vast range of subject areas for students as well as some world class learning facilities," said the principal of Coleg Morgannwg, Judith Evans, who will head the new organisation.

"More" and "better" is also the message from Coleg Cambria which covers north east Wales.

The new college will have 27,000 students, 1,600 staff and an annual income of over £65m.

The college will retain the former names of Yale, Northop, Llysfasi and Deeside at its campuses across Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.

David Jones, the college's principal and chief executive said: "The creation of a new college for north east Wales is a hugely significant development.

"We are extremely ambitious for every business, community and individual in north east Wales and into the wider sub-region that we serve."

Coleg Cambria plans to publish a 'vision for excellence' at its official launch on 5 August at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Denbighshire.

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