New College Durham appoints new Principal

New College Durham is delighted to announce the appointment of Andy Broadbent as the organisation’s new Principal and Chief Executive. Andy will take over from John Widdowson who has retired after nearly 22 years in the role.

Mr Broadbent joined the college in 2004 as Head of Finance. Over the past 16 years, Andy has helped guarantee financial stability for the college ensuring it can offer security to its students and can continue to invest in course provision, facilities and support services.  Under his guidance, the college has been rated as financially outstanding by The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for 10 consecutive years.

In January 2019, Andy took on the role of Deputy Principal and Chief Financial Officer, before being selected as Principal earlier this year. Andy said:

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead such a renowned organisation as New College Durham.  Although these are challenging times, there are still many opportunities ahead. Our newly awarded Institute of Technology status combined with our purpose built STEM centre and the new T-Level qualification offer a clear route to technical employment for young people in the region. I am excited by the opportunity to lead the implementation of these inspirational initiatives”.

Andy is successor to John Widdowson, CBE who retired on 3 July.  During his 22 years at the helm, John was an inspirational leader achieving outstanding learner outcomes year on year and guiding the college to its current position in the top 10% of colleges nationally. His passion for education lead John to take on advisory positions including Chair of Aim Higher County Durham, Chair of the Mixed Economy Group of Colleges as well as being a Board Member of the Association of Colleges and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. In 2010, John was awarded a CBE for his Services to Local and National Further and Higher Education.

Mr Broadbent said:   

“I would like to wish John a happy retirement and thank him for his relentless commitment over the last 22 years. John’s leadership has been a significant factor in the success of the college and he proudly leaves behind a legacy which will positively impact on the lives of many.”