EVENING classes for adults in the county will be run by Abingdon and Witney College under new plans announced yesterday.

Oxfordshire County Council said it would transfer its adult learning service to the college from June 1.

The deal will see 180 members of staff and 12,600 learners transferred, but bosses said the service would remain the same.

It provides apprenticeships and workplace training, as well as English and maths support and other courses at over 80 venues.

A spokesman for Abingdon and Witney College said the adults’ courses would be retained, with hopes that the offering could also be expanded to offer full-time courses for 16- to 18-year-olds and adults.

The deal has been struck as the county council looks to team up with more local organisations to provide services.

Abingdon and Witney College principal Teresa Kelly said: “We are very much looking forward to growing this provision for the people of Oxfordshire.

“It’s a real vote of confidence to have been chosen to continue this work and it reinforces recent national statistics that show Abingdon and Witney College is again the most successful college in Oxfordshire.”

Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, county council cabinet member for cultural and community services, added: “It is a good deal for everyone and should lead to adult learning in Oxfordshire flourishing in the years ahead.”

County council spokesman Paul Smith said most of the £4.5m service was funded by the Skills Funding Agency, with the rest coming from learner fees and payments for contracts.

Mr Smith added that the council would not make any savings from the move because of the way the service was funded.

He added: “This transfer is more about securing a long-term future for the service which can develop in an educational setting.”

The college confirmed this arrangement was expected to continue.