Appointments: New senior posts for land-based colleges

Askham Bryan College is increasing its student numbers and development with two new senior posts

Nick Barnes and Wes Johnson
Nick Barnes and Wes Johnson

An increase in student numbers and development of further learning centres has led to two new senior posts within Askham Bryan College in the North and North West.

Wes Johnson has been appointed campus principal for Cumbria and the North, building on his role as principal at Newton Rigg College. The new position also encompasses Askham Bryan’s centres at Newcastle and Teesside and the centre at Hexham. Wes joined Newton Rigg in January 2012 following the addition of the college to the Askham Bryan family the previous August.

In the past three years Wes has overseen the growth at Newton Rigg from 350 full and part time students to around 800 today. He has also taken a leading role in the £3m redevelopment of the campus. Work to date includes the completion of a state-of-the-art dairy unit at the college’s Sewborwens Farm, the opening of the college’s agriculture centre, the Frank Parkinson Building and the ongoing improvements to the college campus, including new equine facilities.

Wes said: “I am delighted to be expanding my role to encompass the North of England as well as continuing to oversee Newton Rigg and our work in Cumbria.

Student numbers have risen substantially and their enthusiasm for our courses is inspiring. It says much for the commitment of staff and the strength of the education we offer. Providing first-class education in agriculture and rural courses remains at the heart of what we do and being part of the local community. I’m looking forward to developing this still further with our centres in Newcastle and Teesside.” He will continue to be based at the Penrith campus.

Supporting Wes is Nick Barnes in a new role as director of the North East. Nick was previously head of sport, public services and outdoor adventure at Newton Rigg. A keen kayaker and mountain biker, Nick has strong roots in the North East having been born and educated in Darlington. His role will involve developing the curriculum at the North East sites, working to bring land-based education into Newcastle and the Tees Valley.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer