CONNECT: issue 01 March 2013 The Newsletter of Ayrshire College Welcome: Welcome to the first edition of CONNECT: – our monthly update to staff, students and stakeholders on progress towards the merger of Ayr College, James Watt North Ayrshire Campuses and Kilmarnock College. In addition to welcoming you to our first Merger Newsletter, we would also like to invite you to CONNECT: with the merger process by taking the opportunity to send questions and suggestions to The contribution and feedback of staff, students and stakeholders is critical to the success of the merger process and will help us to make sure that we are able to deliver our collective vision for Ayrshire College. Introduction Welcome to the first edition of the CONNECT newsletter which will provide you with an update on the progress of the creation of the new Ayrshire College. The feedback from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) team was very positive. The SFC welcomed the honest views of all of those who participated in the visit and they will now present the Business Case to the SFC Board on 15 March, 2013. February marked several important dates for the merger process as the Ayrshire Partnership Board and the respective college boards were presented with the business case for merger which sets out an ambitious and exciting future for Further and Higher education in Ayrshire. The three colleges continue to demonstrate that despite the many challenges in achieving this ambitious goal in a challenging economic climate, we have the strength, determination and vision to deliver our objectives. 11 February : Business Case approved by the Ayrshire Partnership Board 19 February : Business Case approved by the Boards of Management of Ayr College, James Watt College and Kilmarnock College 21 February : Scottish Funding Council visited Ayrshire to meet with Board members, staff and students to discuss our vision for the College as well as progress on the merger process so far. The APB are continually impressed by the tremendous work undertaken by the staff of the three colleges on the various merger work-streams. We receive monthly updates from our Project Manager, Sharon Driver and are confident in achieving our shared goal of the August Vesting Date. We have much to do over the coming months before vesting day and much to do after it. We are however confident that Ayrshire College will thrive and make a significant impact on the challenges that face our community. Coming soon PRINCIPAL DESIGNATE VISIT TO EACH OF THE COLLEGES. STAFF EVENTS ON THE PRINCIPAL DESIGNATE’S VISION FOR THE NEW MERGED COLLEGE. CULTURAL STUDY. VISION VALUES AND VOICE WORKSHOPS – PART 2. Steve Brannagan Derek Little Wai-yin Hatton Mr. W. Mackie Regional Lead Chair, james watt College Chair, Kilmarnock College Chair, Ayr College