POLITICIANS  say they are “saddened” and “disappointed” the community company set up to save Malvern Hills College is to disband.

Malvern Hills Arts and Community College confirmed last week it had officially withdrawn its bid to buy the former college from WCG (Warwickshire College Group).

Co-directors Gemma Wiseman and Gini McKay said they had “reluctantly decided” it was time to end the group’s interest in the site.

County and district councillor Beverley Nielsen, who was involved in the early stages of the bid, said: “I’m obviously very disappointed personally.

“However, I would like to thank Gemma and Gini for all of their hard work in setting up the new company Malvern Hills Arts Community College.

READ MORE: Group set up to save Malvern Hills College to disband

“I’d also like to thank the council for their steadfast support - I don’t think the district council could have done much more to try to keep the college open, and of course the county council also made a financial commitment to help.

“And I want to thank Harriett Baldwin, our MP, for her efforts over the past couple of years.”

Cllr Nielsen said the Worcestershire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) had “provided very useful insights and support to the community company, as well as business planning”.

Malvern Gazette: Harriett Baldwin MP at the collegeHarriett Baldwin MP at the college (Image: Harriett Baldwin MP)

“Finally, I want to say that I know how much the college means to residents and how many lives it has transformed over the years.”

Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, said: “Naturally, I am saddened that Gemma and her team have taken this very difficult decision, but understand that they feel that the battle to save Malvern Hills College is nearing the end.

“I have a meeting planned with the chief executive of Malvern Hills District Council shortly to discuss this matter but without a team to run a new college, we may be running out of options.

“But I am keeping an open mind on the future of the site until I have spoken to representatives from the district and county council.”

Mrs Baldwin had campaigned for the college to remain an education venue, asking education minister Robert Halfon to intervene and raising the issue with Rishi Sunak during Prime Minister’s Questions.

A spokesperson for WCG has said it was still willing to sell the site at reduced market value for educational use.