A STRUGGLING further education college is to merge with a nearby counterpart.

Redcar and Cleveland College, which has been rated inadequate by Ofsted, is to merge with Stockton Riverside College, but will retain its site in Redcar.

Both colleges said they will benefit from shared expertise, resources and best practice and have better opportunities for future growth.

Mark White, chair of the Stockton Riverside College board of governors, said: “With a shared vision and passion for our local communities, both colleges are confident the partnership will create greater opportunities for learners, employers, staff and stakeholders.

“By working together, we can draw upon each other’s strengths and deep-rooted knowledge of our local areas to create a stronger and more resilient college that is better placed to meet the demands of the wider region at a time of significant economic regeneration.”

Redcar MP Anna Turley said a merger with a “strong partner would ensure our young people have the top quality education they deserve”.

The MP said: “This is good news for further education in Redcar and Cleveland and is an important step forward.

“It will bring an end to the insecurity that has hung over Redcar College, guaranteeing that our borough will retain an FE college and that learners will not have to travel further afield.”