The University of Bradford has announced plans to merge with the Leeds College of Music.

University chiefs hope the proposal will help the musical college thrive under its umbrella – and develop its own curriculum.

A detailed merger proposal is now being drawn up.

It is due to be submitted to the Higher Education Funding Council for England in early December.

Professor Mark Cleary, vice-chancellor of the university, said Leeds College of Music had been looking for a merger due to sustainability issues arising from being a specialist college.

He said: “We became aware of this in late July. We were interested in the possibility, so we have been having discussions and put together a proposal.

“The Leeds College of Music governing board has said we are their preferred partner.

“That means together we are working up a proposal to take to the funding council fairly quickly with the idea being to merge by August 2010.

“For the University of Brad-ford, it obviously helps in terms of our curriculum.

“We think there are the same interests, particularly for the curriculum development.

“We are delighted to be working with Leeds College of Music to develop their mission of high-quality music provision which fits well alongside our current academic curriculum.

“It is also planned as an enhancement to the university’s Bradford Media School and more generally across the curriculum.

“We won’t be moving the college – it will be staying in Leeds – but we think it adds a lot to what the University of Bradford does.”

Professor Philip Meadon, principal of Leeds College of Music, said: “Leeds College of Music looks forward to merging with the University of Bradford following recent talks between the two organisations.

“The university recognises the value of the college’s distinctive provision.

“The merger of the two institutions will present exciting opportunities for developing the breadth and depth of the provision alongside the university’s established programmes.”