THE Newton Rigg College campus site has been snapped up by a well-established company from Cumbria’s rural economy.

It was revealed in a statement to the News & Star that the Leo Group, which owns and operates Omega Proteins in Penrith, is ‘involved in the process’ for the closure-hit countryside college at Penrith.

A spokesman for the Leo Group said: “The Leo Group is involved in the process and further news will follow in due course.”

The announcement follows weeks of speculation that the company were the potential buyers of the Newton Rigg site, but it still has not been confirmed if the buy-out includes the campus’ Sewborwens dairy farm, which was put up for sale through Savills Estate Agents for £5.5m.

The sale comes after Askham Bryan College at York took the decision to close the 125-year-old college campus after claiming it was no longer financially viable to continue operating.

When approached, Askham Bryan remained tight-lipped about the potential purchaser, but said in a statement they had received interest in Sewborwens Farm and Newton Rigg campus, but could not confirm any further details at that stage.

The college’s Beckside hill farm at Mungrisdale was on the market for £1.75m and this has since been sold to the Ernest Cook Trust for an undisclosed sum.

A pressure group who have worked to save the 125-year-old agricultural college have said they would continue to fight for the remaining land after Low Beckside was purchased by the educational trust.

Newton Rigg Ltd recently launched ‘NR Training’ -a new land-based training provider, which will see its first courses announced for a September start.

Leo Group is one of the UK’s leading collectors of animal by products.