Keep Elmwood College open says Fife MP

MP Stephen Gethins is campaigning to keep the campus open
MP Stephen Gethins is campaigning to keep the campus open

North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins has called for a meeting with Scotland’s education secretary over the future of Cupar’s Elmwood College.

The move comes as Fife College moves out of the campus which is has shared with SRUC since 2013 – and fears continue that SRUC may also pull out of Cupar.

Mr Gethins said he was very concerned for the future of Further Education provision in north east Fife and has asked for a meeting with education secretary John Swinney to look at the options.

“Any loss of a further education institution serving this predominantly rural area would result in real difficulties for local students,” Mr Gethins said in a letter to the minister, adding: “This would be particularly problematic for those with learning and mobility issues including young people with special needs.”

He added: “I have also been in contact with SRUC to get an update on its future plans for Elmwood campus.

“The loss of either Fife College or SRUC, not to mention both, would be a severe blow to the area from both an educational perspective and an economic one. There are also fears for the loss of rural skills which are so important these days.

“Students could face travelling a much greater distance and this could have serious financial implications and perhaps even prevent them from attending college and achieving the qualifications they require.”

Mr Gethins demanded: “A solution must be found that will ensure Fife College makes a long-term commitment to further Education in North East Fife. I also hope SRUC will give us the same commitment.”

Fife Councillor Bryan Poole as been campaigning over the future of the campus for some time and fears that the sale of the SRUC’s farm suggests that the campus is being prepared for closure

Fife College’s move out of Elmwood has already led to the planned closure next month of the Little Beehive Nursery at the site, with the business being described as “no longer viable.”