New director appointed at Newton Rigg College

Dr Jane Sullivan has experience working at several colleges in the North, as well as spending 15 years at AstraZeneca

Dr Jane Sullivan of Newton Rigg College
Dr Jane Sullivan of Newton Rigg College

A former business planning and finance manager at Newcastle College has taken up a senior post at one of the North’s best known agricultural institutions.

Research scientist Dr Jane Sullivan has been appointed director of the Penrith-based Newton Rigg College, with particular responsibility for leading on curriculum management and quality, while acting as a deputy to the principal for Cumbria and the North East, Wes Johnson.

The self-confessed “science geek” grew up in Lancashire and for three years, from 2009, was a lecturer in applied science at Carlisle College.

Outside of work, she has a passion for the outdoors, with a particular interest in how animals are perceived by society – whether as a food source, part of our recreation, or as part of applied science.

Mr Johnson said: “We are delighted to welcome Jane to the team. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience, not only from working in the education sector but also from industry, including 15 years as a senior biophysical scientist at AstraZeneca.

“As our student numbers continue to grow and courses develop, it is important that we have the right team in place to ensure our students receive the best education possible providing both the necessary qualifications as well as equipping them for the workplace.

“Jane is already proving to be a great asset to us.”

Newton Rigg College, which currently caters for around 800 students, offers full and part-time further and higher education courses, with subjects including agriculture, horticulture, forestry, countryside management, sport, engineering, public services, equine, child care, game-keeping and animal management.

It also offers a range of apprenticeship courses.

In July 2011, the college became part of the Yorkshire-based Askham Bryan College group, which has a number of centres across the North of England.

A £3m investment plan, announced in November 2012, is helping transform the campus, updating existing buildings and providing state-of-the-art facilities for students. A new dairy unit, was completed in March 2014, while September saw the official opening of the new agriculture centre, The Frank Parkinson Building.

Improvements to the equine facilities are now under way.

Dr Sullivan said: “I am delighted to be at Newton Rigg where agriculture is such a focus, and am looking forward to sharing my passion for education with both students and staff.

“I am also eager to develop the work the college already does with local employers to ensure that the education programmes we deliver meet the needs for a sustainable workforce.

“This is key to ensuring that Newton Rigg College develops work-ready students to help drive Cumbria’s economy.”


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