A CUMBRIAN MP has launched an online petition in a bid to save the threatened Newton Rigg College at Penrith from closure.

Newton Rigg is part of a "strategic review" being carried out by the Department For Education at the request of its parent college, Askham Bryan at York, and it was after meetings with those involved that Penrith and The Border MP Dr Neil Hudson launched an online petition.

Dr Hudson said that with more than 1,000 students and 130 staff, not only does the campus support the land-based sector by providing courses in areas such as agriculture, gamekeeping and animal management, but it also supports general further education for the Eden Valley with courses such as health and social care and sport and outdoor adventure.

"This petition aims to highlight the importance of the college, not only to Cumbria, but also to the wider nation's rural economy," he said. "Newton Rigg provides training in an array of subjects that are needed in order to support the rural economy of Cumbria and the UK. Training in areas such as social care are vital as we look to sustain and increase the workforce in this critical area. It is important that we all support the college and work together to ensure its secure and sustainable future."

The petition can be accessed at www.neilhudson.org.uk/campus