MORE than 500 people have signed a petition as part of the latest plan to fight cuts to courses at Evesham College.

Support has been garnered from Councillor Robin Lunn, leader of the Labour Group on Worcestershire County Council, with residents vehement in their opposition set to meet in conjunction with petition organisers University College Union (UCU) via Microsoft Teams tonight (Tuesday, 6pm).

Warwickshire College Group (WCG) announced in December plans to close Malvern Hills College and shift across students to Evesham.

Hair and beauty, engineering, construction, motor vehicle and digital courses will run from Evesham but access to higher education – courses designed to prepare adults to progress to the next level of education, including university study – and supported learning is set to be transferred to Pershore seven miles away.

Early years will no longer be offered in Worcestershire campuses.

In January, WCG’s chief executive Angela Joyce said: “This development and investment in both the curriculum and the estate at Evesham are a sign of our renewed commitment to long-term investment in the college.”

The remarks have been slammed by the UCU in its literature in which accuses WCG of "closing campuses and shutting down local provision while claiming they are investing in Worcestershire" before urging the public to sign the petition to "stop the cull of local provision and the relentless reduction of the further education sector estate".

UCU's Teresa Corr said: "We want reasons for the decisions and to be able to scrutinise them.

"There has been no consultation with staff who were told in December that the college would come back to them.

"What really concerns them is the lack of social mobility in Evesham and this just limits the choice even more.

"The further education estate is dwindling due to mergers and land being sold off through austerity. It is under attack."

Cllr Lunn said: “We want to see existing courses preserved and provision developed, not cut.

“A growing town like Evesham really needs an effective FE College, especially at the present time with unemployment among young people likely to rise.

“Good local education and training will be vital in addressing this challenge.”

Phoenix Richardson from Evesham signed the petition, adding: “This is a ludicrous measure. I have been able to access a lot of training because Evesham college was in my doorstep and even offered a fantastic creche facility for students to enable them to attend classes.

“It was a real asset for Evesham and local people. This is a cut too far and will negatively impact many people now and in the future. Education should not be a privilege but a basic right.”

WCG declined to put forward anyone for interview. 

A WCG statement said: "The plans for capital investment at both Evesham College and Pershore College to support changes totalling over £1.2 million have just been signed off and as a result we will be issuing a series of planned communications over the next two weeks.

“We look forward to sharing our positive plans for maintaining high quality further and higher education based in Wychavon district, and supporting the south of the county."

You can request to join the public meeting by emailing