There was good news for around 170 staff when a buyer came forward for West Newton’s construction training facility.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is to sign a “heads of terms agreement” with West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds over the sale of the college. 

CITB moved its headquarters to Peterborough, but continues to run the National Construction College (NCC) at the West Norfolk site.

There were fears it would be forced to close unless a buyer could be found.

CITB and West Suffolk College will now enter a period of due diligence with a view to transferring the ownership and running of the business. 

A similar agreement has been reached in relation to CITB’s Health and Safety Training business.

CITB chief executive Sarah Beale said: “The agreements mean CITB and West Suffolk College will be working to secure the continuity of training provision for the construction industry in relation to both quality and quantity. 

“They also mean the north West Norfolk area will continue to host a major British training college. 

“We are looking forward to working together to build and grow the training at Bircham Newton, which will benefit the construction industry, NCC and the local area.”

Principal Dr Nikos Savvas said West Suffolk College was “delighted” to be working with CITB on the acquisition and hoped to make Bircham Newton a centre of excellence.

“We have a long history of working with employers to upskill and retrain their staff across a number of campuses and firmly believe that we can maintain, develop and build upon the industry-wide reputation of NCC as the home of construction training in the UK,” he added.

The National Construction College remains open and is taking bookings throughout this year.