THE creation of a new multi-million pound college campus near Penrith is being considered.

Executives have confirmed that a feasibility study is being carried out for a new state-of-the-art site, which would be close to the existing Newton Rigg College campus.

Newton Rigg offers a variety of agriculture-related courses, as well as teaching in other fields such as hairdressing and sport.

The money for the creation of a new purpose-built centre would be generated by releasing the site of the existing 12-hectare campus for housing and other associated uses.

Tim Whitaker, Newton Rigg’s acting chief executive and principal, said: “Many of the existing campus buildings on the site are outdated and costly to maintain.

“The original farmhouse around which the existing campus was developed is listed (Grade II) and would look to be maintained, and, if the [feasibility] study proves positive, we would encourage our existing tenants to continue to be part of our new centre.”

He added: “Our vision is to create a new campus on our land close to the existing site which has sustainability and environmentally friendly facilities at its heart.

“This, coupled with the very latest technology for student learning, would be transformational, enhancing and extending educational opportunities for people in the region and beyond.”

In 2011, Askham Bryan College, York, acquired Newton Rigg and has helped to restore its farming heritage by investing in its facilities, introducing new courses and increasing student numbers.

Additions which Newton Rigg students are now able to enjoy include a new £2.4m dairy unit, opened in 2014, and a £450,000 sheep husbandry centre opened in 2017.