Harrogate College changes hands in new transfer

Harrogate College has joined Luminate Education Group, one of the largest education providers in the north.
Harrogate College has joined Luminate Education Group, one of the largest education providers in the north.

Recent years have seen unsettled times for Harrogate College but this week saw it officially joining the Luminate Education Group as part of an ambitious five-year recovery plan.

After months of working collaboratively with Hull College Group, the previous owners of the college), the transfer took place yesterday, Thursday, August 1.
The handover will seek to bring benefits for both staff and students and improve current systems and processes.

Lydia Devenny, deputy chief executive of Luminate Education Group, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Harrogate College to one of the largest education providers in the north.
“We’re hopeful that our collective expertise and best practice will allow the college to continue growing, provide excellent education and play a pivotal role in the local community.”

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The plans were assessed and approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the Further Education (FE) Commissioner.

Harrogate college joins a collective of education providers, which include Leeds City College, Keighley College, Leeds College of Music and the White Rose Academies Trust.
The move is a positive step after recent events at Harrogate College.

The town's long-standing further education college can trace its origins to the University Extension movement, which began in 1873 under the auspices of Cambridge University.

Based for decades at Bower Road, in 1985 it relocated in 1985 to Hornbeam Park.

Offering several levels of qualifications, including further and higher education courses, after decades of success, its story became more complicated and troubled in August 1998 when it merged with Leeds Metropolitan University and was re-classified as a university.
The new era for Harrogate College lasted barely ten years before control was then transferred to Hull College in 2008.
This was not strictly a merger, since Leeds Metropolitan University still had links with Harrogate College through a body known as the Regional University Network.

In 2015, the college received a £6 million refurbishment after investment from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP.

In 2017 Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust joined forces with HCUK Training, the Apprenticeship team at Harrogate College, to offer exciting new opportunities for people who have a desire to build a career within the NHS.

In 2018 staff at Harrogate College went on strike in a row over job cuts.

Among notable 'alumni' of Harrogate College is Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond.

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