At Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Annual General Meeting this week it was announced that the institution had enjoyed an exceptional first year after the merger of Coleg Llandrillo and Coleg Menai to become Grŵp Llandrillo Menai in April 2012.
The Annual General Meeting was attended by approximately 60 members of the public including College governors, members of local college councils, staff and representatives of local business and public sector organisations. The new Chair of the Corporation, Dr Roy Bichan, expressed his thanks and appreciation to his predecessor John Bellis, who remains a board member.
A financial overview of Grŵp operations in 2011-12 showed that the institution had built on its 2009-10 and 2010-11 performances to achieve an operating surplus of £2.36m, on a turnover of £76.3m. These results put the College at the forefront in the Welsh educational sector, sustaining its continued pursuit of excellence in all areas of its operation.
The first Grŵp annual report covers all aspects of what the College does, as well as including a wide range of student, staff and college successes, progress that it has made in delivering a range of services, and detailed information on the financial accounts. The policy of the College in relation to public access to information is to demonstrate that it is open and accountable in the conduct of business and decision making.
Overall, the three Colleges making up the Grŵp – Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Coleg Menai – had continued to serve their local areas, acting with a single corporate voice to ensure consistent service and standards throughout the Grŵp. A wide range of student and staff accolades had been amassed through the year, both at local and national levels, and the CEO expressed his pride and pleasure in the continual striving for excellence.
All student targets had been met in further education (FE), higher education (HE) and work-based learning (WBL). Capital investment across the Grŵp had been strong at approximately £4m in the year with the completion of the Pentre Addysg @ Glynllfon. A number of further capital projects are planned, including the development of a £5m University Centre at Coleg Llandrillo (UCCL), £4.5m Dolgellau Engineering and Built Environment Centre (DEBEC) and a £3.1m Creative Media Centre at Coleg Menai.
The CEO, Glyn Jones OBE, presented the Annual Report 2011-12, sharing the vision of the Grŵp to be an excellent employer that motivates, empowers and supports staff, is an economic driver of the regional and Welsh economy and a catalyst for the regeneration of local communities. FE/WBL learner performance data showed that the Grŵp had recorded a successful FE completion rate of 84%, three percentage points above the national benchmark, plus a significant WBL Framework success at 83% and Apprentice Framework Success of 86%. Over 2,000 students had followed AS and A2 level courses, with 897 studying A levels, achieving a pass rate of 96.3%. Significant GCSE successes had been evident across all Colleges within the Grŵp also.
Coleg Llandrillo was the recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize, being one of only 21 universities and further education colleges to be honoured at a presentation ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The College’s award was ‘for an original and large-scale approach to high quality training in hospitality and catering’ and was presented by Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Grŵp continued to maintain and foster links with industry and in particular its close partnership with the energy sector to develop the Magnox Partnership, Celtic Wave and an innovative wind apprenticeship programme in conjunction with RWE nPower Renewables. A new Retail Skills Shop at the Rhyl campus and a training partnership with retailer Aldi were highly praised at a national level. Attendees were also given the opportunity to ask questions concerning the College’s vision and strategy for the future.