Two Bucks colleges joined forces this week in a landmark merger to create a single college across the county.

The merger, between Amersham and Wycombe and Aylesbury colleges, was being discussed last year as education bosses believed Amersham and Wycombe College’s long-term future could be secured by the move.

The merged college will continue to operate from its three main campuses in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Amersham, plus University Campus Aylesbury Vale in the centre of Aylesbury.

Principal and chief executive Karen Mitchell said she is enthusiastic about the future.

She said: “Buckinghamshire College Group combines the best elements of both colleges, delivering a high standard of teaching and learning, improving outcomes and increasing progression opportunities to university, apprenticeships, and employment for young people and adults locally and regionally.

“Our new branding brings together the colours of each college and is designed to be vibrant, exciting and inspire ambition.

“We are a forward thinking college ambitious for our students, our employers and the communities we serve.”

It comes after the under-threat Amersham and Wycombe College, which was ranked inadequate by Ofsted last year and forced to receive government help, announced it was starting to turn things around after a re-inspection monitoring visit.

The merged college will be home to over 7,000 students, young people and adults, studying full-time and part-time courses and apprenticeships, and will continue to run courses at all of its campuses across Bucks.

Ms Mitchell added: “Buckinghamshire College Group has a strong vision to be an outstanding college for Bucks.

“We will continue to work closely with our employers and strategic partners to power skills and education for Buckinghamshire and the region by delivering and growing employer-focused vocational, technical and professional programmes for young people and adults.”