Arthur Rank closure down to ‘historic debt and low recruitment’

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Teenagers were left in shock after the sudden closure of the Arthur Rank Training centre.

The training centre in Princes Drive was closed for good on March 24 in what management put down to “low recruitment and historic debts”.

The decision to close up was put into immediate effect after being taken at a board meeting of trustees just days earlier.

A total of 48 students were enrolled in ART which provided a mix of work-based and classroom learning to prepare disaffected young people for the workplace.

Of these 48, 11 are living in Warwickshire and all will now be offered the chance to continue their education and training at Henley College in Coventry.

Nobody from the college was available to talk to the KWN, but ART issued the following statement from the company secretary after the centre closed its doors.

“It is with the deepest regret that we have to inform you that Arthur Rank Training ceased to operate as from 24th March 2014.

“Having taken legal advice from insolvency experts, the board of Arthur Rank Training was left with no alternative but to end the charity’s operations with immediate effect.

“A combination of low recruitment and historic debts meant that the charity was technically insolvent, which would have rendered continued trading unlawful.

“Whilst we understand that this decision will cause disappointment and distress to learners and partner agencies, it was not a decision taken lightly by the board.

“We are currently trying to ensure that the post-16 learners registered with Henley College Coventry can continue their further education.”

The centre provided hands on courses and learning and help for disaffected youngsters aged between 14 and 19.

As well as training in construction and vehicle repair and build, the centre taught classes in maths and English.

The centre was threatened with closure back in 2012 when it failed an Ofsted standards inspection. But with help from staff and new chief executive Jan Gormley, things turned around and staff and learners were praised for their efforts and progress.

The site was visited by MP Jeremy Wright, who was impressed by the “encouraging” changes made, and ‘reasonable to significant improvement’ was noted by Ofsted.

Anyone in need of advice or support can contact 461600 if to talk to careers advisers or find out what steps are now open to them.

To discuss options at Henley, email Debi Donnarumma at