THE group in charge of the former Malvern Hills College sale has hit back at accusations of asset stripping from a county MP.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin had accused WCG of stalling over a community bid to buy the site.

She said: "I am increasingly frustrated by the way WCG is handling this issue.

"There is a perfectly fair bid on the table which will allow education at the college to continue, preserving teaching and jobs.

"As they are an education charity, I have asked the Charity Commission to evaluate whether this mission should override the College’s stated aim to flog the site to the highest bidder."

In response, a WCG spokesman called her claim "unfair".

They said: "WCG has been carefully evaluating all bids. It does not recognise a number of the statements made by Mrs Baldwin about the alleged viability of the community-led bid.

"Further, WCG would strongly dispute the suggestion that the community bid value could be described as “perfectly fair”.

"Conservative estimates by property experts suggest that the site is worth more than double that offered.

"Any suggestion of “asset stripping” by WCG is as unfair as it is inaccurate.

"WCG has sought to engage in a constructive dialogue with Mrs Baldwin about the site, but to date these attempts have not been well received.

"The college has a positive relationship with the new Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi MP with whom it has worked closely for many years.

"It would welcome the opportunity to share with him the approach to dealing with the future of the Malvern Hills College site."

WCG first announced the college would be closing last November, beginning a long-running saga over its future.

A bid of £1.2 million for the college was submitted earlier this year, but news on the negotiations has fallen silent.

The WCG spokesman added: "WCG devoted considerable resources over a number of years to make the Malvern Hills site viable, but regrettably, was unable to do so.

"The reluctant decision to close and dispose of the site was supported by the ESFA which has concluded that there is no functional need for a college providing 16-18 Government-funded courses in the Malvern district.

"Once the site became surplus to requirements, WCG had a charitable obligation to seek the maximum value for it, given that proceeds will be reinvested for the benefit of the students and communities that the college continues to serve."