A DECISION to close the music department of a major North Yorkshire college has been called "short-sighted" and disappointing.

The music department at Selby College announced this week it would close for good within weeks, and new students would not be accepted.

In a post on social media, the music department wrote: "It is with a heavy heart to announce that the college has made the decision to close the music department.

"We would like to thank all past students and everyone that has been involved with the department over the past 10 years you have all been awesome and it has been a pleasure. The good news is we are still here until the third of July so if you want to come say bye, feel free to do so."

The college told The Press "there simply isn't enough demand" to continue the music department, and two members of staff were being made redundant as a result of the closure.

One local mother called the college's decision "really short-sighted", and said her son was disappointed by the announcement.

She told The Press: "We’re really disappointed to see this department close. My son had met the lecturers who had really inspired him to focus on working hard on his GCSEs so he could get a place on the Sound Engineering & Production course when he leaves school.

"At a time when we’ve got Channel 4 relocating to the region and organisations like Screen Yorkshire doing really well, it seems really short-sighted not to be offering students the skills that these kind of organisations will be looking for."

The department also announced it would host a gig at The Fulford Arms in York on June 3, "for one final blast", and encouraged supporters to attend.

A spokeswoman for Selby College said: "The funding climate for schools and colleges is very tight, and we sometimes have to make difficult decisions to secure the widest possible range of quality provision for our local communities. The quality of education from the college is really strong and we offer an important range of courses.

"Our Music area has delivered great education to a very small number of students, who have really benefitted from this. The college has had to take the difficult decision to discontinue the provision of the music course, because there simply isn’t enough demand to run it.

"The small number of students who had applied for the course have been contacted and offered advice and guidance from our qualified Careers Advisers on their options, with support to find alternative courses at the College or at other providers. No current students have been affected by this decision as they will finish their course successfully, as expected, this summer."

The college said it was investing in "a number of areas where demand is growing", including a new Institute of Technology project, "which will train more people in advanced manufacturing processes, enabling them to get great jobs in local industries".