Magazine article Public Finance

First FE Building Bids Approved

Magazine article Public Finance

First FE Building Bids Approved

Article excerpt

Thirteen further education colleges have been promised grants for new buildings - providing they cut their costs and increase borrowing.

The schemes were selected by the Learning and Skills Council from more than 180 submitted for the ill-fated Building Colleges for the Future programme, which was suspended In December when the money ran out.

Ministers promised in the Budget that an extra £300m would be allocated for FE capitai projects this year. However, it was clear that most colleges, Including those whose schemes had already been approved in principle, woufd be disappointed.

Announcing the short list of 13 colleges on June 26, the LSC called for 'significant but manageable' reductions in costs and said colleges must maximise borrowing 'within prudent limits'. They should also look at other potential sources of funding.

LSC chief executive Geoff Russell said the projects had been selected because of the benefits they would bring to their communities and learners. '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,' he added. …

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