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Education / Merged college launch date now projected for next summer

The NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway, one of the colleges earmarked to merge into one organisation. Photo: Shetland NewsThe NAFC Marine Centre UHI. Photo: Shetland News

IT MAY now only be until summer 2021 before a new merged college in Shetland can be launched.

The update on the project is given in a report due to be presented to councillors this week.

Development director Neil Grant wrote that while the projected timeline for formally merging is summer 2021, “assumptions are affected by uncertainties in legislative capacity due to elections, Brexit and the current Covid crisis”.

Previous estimates placed the date of vesting – or merging – in March 2021, and prior to this there was a hope that it would have been launched in January this year.

A business case for merging Shetland College, NAFC Marine Centre and Train Shetland has now been approved by University of Highlands and Islands.

It needs the green light from the Scottish Government before it can ultimately go ahead.

Grant’s report adds that there has also been an increase in the provision for pension cessation costs upon merger, in relation to the NAFC Marine Centre, of around £1.8 million.

It was previously revealed that the delay in merging has meant that the council has had to fund Shetland College and Train Shetland, which it operates, for another year at a cost of around £1.5 million.

College merger delay will cost SIC dear