Askham Bryan College is set to take over the running of Newton Rigg, currently part of the University of Cumbria, from 1 August 2011.


The college was chosen from a field of six bidders after the university announced it would stop running courses from Newton Rigg in a bid to reduce mounting debt.

A press statement from Askham Bryan thanked the rural community for its support. “We look forward to working with the students, local employers, Newton Rigg staff and partner colleges to re-establish Newton Rigg as a centre of excellence for land-based and land-related learning in Cumbria, and to ensure that the college has a long and sustainable future,” the statement added.

Askham Bryan’s plans were assessed by representatives from the Skills Funding Agency, the Young People’s Learning Agency, the North West Development Agency and Cumbria County Council.

The college has been given an extended period to assess the viability of key income streams and to examine Newton Rigg’s books.

Newton Rigg was formed in 1896 and is seen as especially valuable by many in the industry, being the only college in England with a dedicated hill unit.