A new principal has been appointed at North Shropshire College (NSC).

Ian Peake will take over from interim principal Ian Clinton and will continue work to merge the college with Herefordshire and Ludlow College (HLC) which is currently going through consultation.

Mr Peake has been the principal and chief executive of HLC since 2004, and has a wealth of experience within further education. He has also overseen several successful mergers, including the HLC's land-based provision at the Holme Lacy Campus, Ludlow College Sixth Form and the Shropshire-based training provider, County Training.

Mr Peake said: "I am delighted and honoured that the board of North Shropshire College has asked me to serve as principal for the months leading up to the merger with Herefordshire and Ludlow College.

"This is a very exciting development for both partner institutions that will enable us to create a new, diverse and financially stable college to provide the very best education and training to every student."

Gillian Richards, chair of the Board of Governors at NSC was keen to emphasise the key-timing off the appointment.

She added: "The Board and I are thrilled to welcome Ian Peake to lead North Shropshire College in the coming months prior to merger.

"Now is absolutely the right time for Ian to join us and we are both excited and ready for the necessary work that will need to be done to ensure a successful merger which will benefit the communities of Herefordshire and Shropshire.

"We wish Ian every success in the future."

Igor Andronov, chair of the Board of Governors at HLC added: “I am confident that Ian will work quickly and diligently to create a merged college that will truly deliver the opportunity for all our students to excel and succeed.”