FARM leaders and young farmers have joined the fight to rescue Newton Rigg College from closure.

Cumbrian young farmers posted a plea on their Facebook Page for all voices to be heard in the fight to save the Penrith college from closing next summer.

"Cumbria YFC has a strong voice, let's make sure it's heard on this very important issue. Please share to your clubs, family and friends," said the Facebook post.

The call came after bids to save the college were rejected by the Further Education Commissioner last month.

Young farmers had posted a statement from one of the bids from a group called Newton Rigg Limited, who have now written to Government requesting that urgent action is taken to prevent owners Askham Bryan College from selling land and assets while discussions continue.

Newton Rigg Limited said that their bid had been rejected because they had been unable to finalise an agreement with a partner college that would facilitate the transition of provision at Newton Rigg from Askham Bryan's ownership. However, they pointed out that they were now in 'fast-paced discussions' with a significant college group. "We are working towards a supportive relationship, not another merger," said the group.

Meanwhile, a statement from National Farmers Union North West Regional Director David Hall said: "It’s disappointing that both bids have been unsuccessful and the NFU is now extremely concerned about the sale of assets out of Cumbria.

"Land based education provision for the people of the county has always been a priority and the NFU will continue to work with other organisations and the local MP to find a vital solution.”