TWO new colleges are set to open in Bolton – one backed by Wanderers owner Eddie Davies and the other by the Cohens Group.
The Eddie Davies Educational Trust School will be a sixth form for 400 pupils while Bolton UTC will specialise in health sciences and engineering technologies for students aged 14 to 19.
Located on the Bolton Arena sports complex and Reebok Stadium – and supported by Whites chairman Phil Gartside – the Wanderers-backed school will specialise in sports and business.
It will focus on English and maths for students who do not achieve a grade C in their GCSEs.
Among other qualifications, an International Baccalaureate Career Certificate in Professional Sports will also be available to students.
The government has also named Bolton UTC as one of six newly approved university technical colleges (UTCs) which will be opening across the country over the next two years.
Bolton UTC will specialise in health sciences and engineering technologies.
The college will be supported by The University of Bolton and is working with the Cohens Group, the successful Bolton-based pharmacy chain, as well as Ravat and Ray Dental Clinics, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, and a range of other local employers.
Yakub Patel, CEO of the Cohens Group, said: “The Cohens Group are proud of their partnership with the University of Bolton in bringing a very innovative educational opportunity to local young people aged 14 to 19.
“Bolton UTC is exactly what is needed to prepare and supply able and work ready young people required for our business and indeed other businesses in the region.
"Healthcare is a growing sector and the advent of technology will help the sector provide sustainable growth in the region.”
Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “I am delighted to approve the progression of The Eddie Davies Education Trust School.
“Free schools are driving up education standards across England.
“They are hugely popular with parents, providing more choice and freedom and, crucially, they are benefiting children.
“Around three-quarters of those inspected by Ofsted are rated good or outstanding. Free schools are a significant boost to communities poorly served for generations.”