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On course to stay at annexe


A piano-tuning and repair course run in Newark since 1972 looks set to stay put.

There had been uncertainty over the future of the Newark College course based at the Mount Annexe, on Mount Lane, because of the poor condition of the building.

The bad state of repair was criticised in an Ofsted report and in 2006 the college decidedno new students would be enrolled on the course until a new venue was found.

But failure to find alternative premises means the college plans to renew its lease and refurbish the annexe. It is aiming to recruit students again from September, 2008.

The news was welcomed by a former pupil, Miss Francis Overbury (26) of Coronation Street, Balderton, who graduated in June and now runs a piano-tuning business.

She said the Mount building’s traditional features, including wooden floors and a courtyard, helped to give the course a unique feel.

“It was the perfect atmosphere and the perfect learning environment,” she said.

“We were fond of the course and the building. We were really protective of it.”

Miss Overbury said that the traditional setting would probably not be felt in another building, and students were not happy when they found out earlier this year that it could be moved.

“It’s great that it is going to continue in the building but it is a shame that they didn’t put more money into it when we were there,” Miss Overbury said.

Jill Hyde, the programme manager for performing arts and music at the college, said the annexe offered students the opportunity to study in a bespoke facility close to the main college.

She said it allowed students to access the wide range of non-curriculum support and resources available.

She said the decision to start accepting students again was well received by the piano industry which regularly recruited students from the college.

Details and cost of the refurbishment have not yet been agreed.

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