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LSC announces only 13 colleges to receive cash bailout

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has said just 13 college building projects will receive its emergency funding

The handful of projects came from more than 180 projects submitted to the delivery body under the latest stage of the stricken Building Colleges for the Future scheme.

The successful 13 projects are:

  • Barnsley College
  • Bournville College
  • Furness College
  • Hartlepool College of Further Education
  • Kirklees College
  • Leyton Sixth Form College
  • Manchester College – Wythenshawe
  • North West Kent College
  • St Helens College
  • Sandwell College
  • South Thames College
  • Tresham Institute of Further and Higher Education, Corby
  • West Cheshire College

The LSC was given £300 million in April’s Budget to rescue some of the 71 projects left in limbo when it ran out of cash earlier this year.

Having drawn up a longlist of projects ready to start on site quickly, the LSC judged them on the following criteria’s:

  • education and skills impact
  • contribution to local economic and regeneration priorities
  • co-dependency with other projects or third-party funding
  • the current condition of the estate
  • value for money

Those 13 colleges will now be asked to make cost reductions to their initial project plans, to maximise borrowing within prudent limits, and to examine other possible sources of funds.

A spokesman said: ‘Discussions between these colleges and the LSC will now take place as a matter of urgency. All 13 colleges will receive funding only if the overall cost is reduced. The reductions required are significant but manageable.’

Colleges not selected to proceed this year will have to wait for the results of further consultation between the LSC and the sector this autumn to agree a process for prioritising capital investment from 2011.

LSC chief executive Geoff Russell said: ‘These are the projects that will bring the greatest benefit to learners and communities across the country.

‘They will have a substantial impact on the education and skills environment in their locality by transforming the condition of college buildings. In conjunction with wider regeneration projects to which they are integral, they will help to revitalise communities.

‘While they show good value for money and excellent links with third party funding, we will ask each of these colleges to find additional cost savings in order that we can afford to fund additional projects.’

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