NEW vice-president at Herefordshire College of Art and Design, Jim Walmsley, has been brought in to manage the development of the Higher Education sector of the college.

His remit is to increase the portfolio in terms of depth and variety of courses on offer, both now and in the future.

"Attracting students regionally, nationally and internationally is what I want to do," Jim (pictured) said.

"A value of a college like ours is the support level for students and although my ambition is to achieve a target of 700 students over five years, the size of each course will remain at about 20 to 25.

"We need to be proactive in shaping our future in terms of developing new courses to meet the increase in demand from the creative industries."

Although strong in performing arts already, the college hopes to move more into music and music-related areas.

Formerly Associate Dean at the University of Wales, Newport, Jim is familiar with Hereford from his time as an external moderator. He is a keen advocate of the art school ethos and believes in taking what is good at the college and adding to that.

"The art school is a specialist brand," he said. "It's about recognising strengths and building on them - courses like the artist blacksmithing course are perfectly located here in Hereford."

He is currently developing ideas for a project exploring the cultural shifts in designing and making in the UK and emergence of new crafts.