THE principal of Nelson and Colne College is leaving after four years to take up a new challenge on the South coast.

Lyn Surgeon said she will take away many happy memories and achievements from her time with the college.

She leaves the end of this week to take up the role as principal at South Downs College, in Hampshire, the area where she grew up.

Mrs Surgeon has overseen the college move from two campus’ to one in Reedyford Road, Nelson, and the college secure STEM assured status demonstrating excellence in science, technology, engineering and maths.

She said: “I have really enjoyed my time here and will take away many fond memories. We have achieved great success and the number of students going on to outstanding universities shows that.

“We were the fourth college in the country to get STEM assured status which is a great achievement.

“The college has got a long standing reputation and I have just helped build on that. We have had generations of families come through this college.”

“We have had a number of challenges while I have been here, such as the removal of the EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance), but we have faced them and helped our students through them. It is really important to break down those barriers to education.”

Mrs Surgeon said she will be sad to leave, but she will always remember her time at the college.

“I will have a mix of emotions, I am excited about my new challenge and returning home but I will be very sorry to leave.

“I have had a brilliant time here and I have a genuine affection for the staff and students I leave behind.”