COLEG Gwent chief executive Guy Lacey has announced that he plans to retire at the end of the academic year.

The college has praised Mr Lacey as a “visionary leader” who presided over a period of “remarkable growth” during his eight years as principal and chief executive.

During his tenure, he led negotiations with Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen councils which ensured the creation of modern learning zones in Cwmbran and Ebbw Vale.

More recently, he spearheaded the college’s work with Newport City Council in the development of the Newport Knowledge Quarter and secured the High Value Engineering  (HiVE) campus for Ebbw Vale.

South Wales Argus: Work on the HiVE facility in Ebbw Vale

Coleg Gwent say his role as chair of Colegau Cymru has seen him become the "voice for further education in Wales" and a key player in shaping the sector's future.

Mr Lacey has been a longstanding member of the Cardiff Capital Region Skills Partnership and served on the CCR Economic Growth Partnership and steering group which produced a review of vocational qualifications for the Welsh Government.

He spent several years on a management development programme with Lloyds Bank before completing a History and Politics degree at Oxford Brookes University and a postgraduate certificate in Secondary Education from University of Bath which led him into teaching.

South Wales Argus: Learning zones in Ebbw Vale (left) and Torfaen (right)

Chair of the Board of Governors, Mark Langshaw MBE, said it was a “bittersweet moment” to hear of Mr Lacey’s retirement plans.

“Guy should be very pleased with all of his accomplishments over a long and distinguished career, and he leaves the College in a stronger position than which he found it, well-positioned for the future.

“The Board is very grateful for Guy’s strong leadership and dedication to Coleg Gwent and the wider FE sector in Wales.

“We will now begin the search for his successor with experience of the Welsh FE sector, who shares similar values and vision for the future to build upon the stronger foundations that Guy has built.

“We wish him a long and well-deserved retirement.”

Coleg Gwent will start the search for a new principal in 2024.