IT IS news that will have surprised and saddened many.

Before students have even moved into the state-of-the art new Kirklees College buildings comes confirmation that more than 50 jobs are to be axed.

Public sector funding is reducing and the college has extra costs to meet tied to its new developments on the Waterfront Quarter and St Andrew’s Road. Tough decisions were unavoidable.

And as the college’s biggest costs lie in its salary bill then the place where savings must be made looks almost inevitable.

Talks have already begun to see what can be done. But as many of the college’s staff are part-time, the spread of redundancies could be wide.

It is devastating news on a personal level for all of those individuals concerned, for the college and for the town.

Our educational institutions are the drivers for the future, they are the potential creators of enterprising projects and initiatives which can benefit not just its students but the wider economy.

Vigorous, robust educational facilities in our town are crucial for its future so it is to be hoped that a way forward can be found to maintain the best of what the college has to offer.