The project involved the merger of St Martins College in Lancaster with the Cumbria Institute for the Arts in Carlisle and the acquisition of the Cumbrian assets of the University of Central Lancashire. The project also saw the development of a new IT system for the University and the integration of HE in FE colleges in Cumbria through a wider learning network.
The project was seen as necessary due to the lack of local opportunities for young people to participate in higher learning.
The evaluation report set out the benefits and costs of the project. The benefits included increased student numbers and improved qualifications , jobs created and safeguarded through business support activities, GVA and improvements to the image of the sub-region. The governance, management delivery arrangements and SAV were also fully assessed.
In carrying out the evaluation, the following tasks were undertaken: