West Cheshire College has justified spending money on new branding for its Handbridge campus despite rumours the site is likely to close next year.

The college, whose students begin courses at its Chester base next month, has refused to say how much has been spent but says operations “continue as normal including the phased roll out of our new brand identity”.

The statement comes after Twitter user Neil Cooper tweeted pictures of new signage with the caption: “What’s with the logo change @westccollege in #Handbridge? I thought you were closing down this campus?”

College spokeswoman Louise Lewis said: “Our Chester campus is open and we are very excited and looking forward to welcoming our students back in September. Building on the success of the achievements of our students in 2014/15, our core focus has always been to continue to provide excellent teaching, training and support for our students.

“Therefore, the college’s operations also continue as normal including the phased roll out of our new brand identity. This includes relevant new signage which also supports our new summer recruitment campaign Limitless, launched by our student president at our college’s awards in July and supported by Colin Jackson.”

READ: Colin Jackson rewards top students at West Cheshire College

West Cheshire College spent £65m on brand new buildings in Ellesmere Port and Handbridge but borrowed too much money on the deal. The Eaton Road base only opened in 2011 after years spent trying to deliver a new Chester campus including a failed attempt on land next to Northgate Village.

The college previously confirmed the four-year-old base will close but has since said that “discussions with the college’s main funding agencies are ongoing” offering hope it could be saved after all.

Speculation has been rife the University of Chester wants the Handbridge site, possibly for a new medical school. The university is expanding in the area and will shortly open a new business school at the former Lloyds Banking Group base in nearby Queen’s Park in addition to its Riverside campus in the former County Hall building.

The University of Chester is about to open its Queen's Park Campus accommodating its new business school

Handbridge Residents Council fears its neighbourhood could go the way of the Garden Quarter in suffering from what is perceived as the blight of studentification.