MID Cheshire’s college is playing down claims that more students are facing journeys to Warrington to attend their course.

Warrington and Vale Royal College formed earlier this year following the merger of Mid Cheshire College and Warrington Collegiate.

Some courses have since been moved from the Hartford and Winsford sites to Warrington following enrolment in September – but the college has not revealed the exact number of courses that have moved north despite repeated requests from the Guardian.

The issue hit the spotlight at Monday’s Northwich Town Council meeting, when Cllr Paul Dolan, member for Bridge, highlighted concerns raised by residents.

“We’ve heard some concerns being expressed about the movement of some courses to Warrington that might have an impact on students,” he said.

“I think it would be useful to get [the college’s] perspective, to tell us how things are progressing.”

Cllr Kevin Rimmer, member for Greenbank, added that he had been told some students travelling from Northwich to Warrington were ‘getting there after their courses have started’.

But Nichola Newton, principal and chief executive of Warrington and Vale Royal College, has told the Guardian that only a small number of full time students have been affected by course moves.

“Following an assessment of recruitment in September, a small number of courses were transferred to our Warrington campus and an equally small number of courses transferred to our Hartford campus,” she said.

“This affected around one per cent of the total full-time student cohort. There have been no course closures as a direct result of the merger.

“A free shuttle bus between the campuses has been put in place and timetables have been adjusted to accommodate bus arrival and departure times.

“We have reviewed the travel arrangements twice already this term and made a number of changes as a result. We will continue to work with our students and transport partners to ensure we are meeting the needs and interests of our students.”

Cllr Brian Clarke, CWAC cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, also has confidence in the college’s future.

The Winsford Wharton councillor admits he did have concerns when the merger was announced, but following a meeting with the college’s principal he believes students are now being offered the right courses to make the best start to their careers.

“The college is talking to businesses and delivering the courses that are needed,” he told the Guardian.

“Courses have been moved around so that the college has the right courses in the right places, and we will have sufficient courses in Winsford and Hartford.

“This is not to the detriment of anyone - the college had to change some of the courses, it had been delivering some courses that no one really wanted.

“Our students need the best start in life and the college is trying to provide that.”

Accurate details of which courses are running on each campus are yet to be published online, with the college’s new website still unfinished.

Prospective students who are unable to find the course they are looking for are asked to call the admissions team on 01925 494400, or attend the open evening in Hartford from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday, November 16.